It is arguable that justice is as sweet as revenge, or even sweeter. Justice, after all, is civilized revenge meted with a communal consent. Humanity has a raving appetite for Justice.
Nigeria, like many countries, is however starved of justice. Jus- tice cannot be found in the rusted lead-pipes of judicial bureau- cracy, in the cavernous courtrooms with termite-eaten wooden docks. Justice has retired from these places. Justice has relocat- ed to the jungle, to the hearts of hapless civilians, to the aggre- gation of market stalls, to rundown beer parlours and still, Justice is neither satis ed nor safe. Justice is chased, taunted, trampled upon daily; as crude bombs are detonated, Justice is shattered, mangled, ripped apart. The dark pun in D’Angelo’s lyrics comes to mind, “Ain’t no justice, just us.”
Saraba, in her twelfth issue, gleams in this gloom, these murky waters, this putrid reality. Poetry, ction, the good old essay and photography are deployed gainfully. One is reminded of how just the pen is in the sterling essay of Tade Ipadeola, ‘Of Similitude and Verisimilitude’, an intellectual tourdeforce that joins itself to the barricade of rebuttals that has withstood a disgruntled char- latan’s headlong charge. The fresh and haunting poetry of Jumoke Verissimo tackles the plight of an émigré: one can easily imagine the internal horrors of those who had to seek political asylums in the recent past, when Justice was travestied.
Chioma Iwunze Ibiam launders the memories of a gang rape, an event that evoked a lot of media publicity. She holds court and cross-examines the perpetrators, the perpetrated and the onlook- ers. The story is resplendent with the possibilities of ction. Lore Adebola’s ‘Does Nigeria Need Sherwood Forests?’ is a thought- provoking internal dialogue with a singeing sincerity reminiscent of dialogues of the philosophers of yore.
The photography of Ray-Daniels Okeugo, which captures the revolution that was OccupyNigeria, situates hope in one’s heart. When there is a con uence of voices into an unshaken guttural thunder, speaking the truth to power, Justice will redound. But for now, ain’t no justice, just us.