BY OSA AMADI
This is not a joke. It is a real lion, not caged, not chained, not isolated. The lion first belonged to the former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Coomassie, before the ex-top cop donated the lion to Katsina State government for keeps in the state museum.
Speaking to Vanguard Arts & Reviews in the Katsina State pavilion at the on-going 2017 African Arts & Crafts Expo, Principal Officer of Katsina State History & Culture Bureau, Abdurrahman Sa’idu, and his Assistant, Da’u Saleh Batagarawa, said, “as you can see, this is a real lion. It was given to the former IG of Police, Ibrahim Coomassie in Zambia. The IG in turn donated it to our office. We keep it in our museum for researchers who may want to study with it, or for school children on excursion. Those who cannot go to the Wildlife Park to go and see a real lion will at least have this to see.”
Asked whether the lion is for sale given that it was brought to an exhibition where buying and selling of art products and archival materials are going on, Abdulrrahman said “no, it is not for sale. We are taking it back to Katsina after this Expo. Someone has priced it N1.2 million but we cannot sell it. It is not for sale. Coomassie donated it to us in 2015, so we can’t sell it. We also have others animals like this – Zebra, tiger, etc.”
It is indeed a real lion. You can touch the head, the whiskers, the fangs and the bloodshot eyes without any danger – because it a dead lion.
“The lion was skinned with the entire head and claws intact. They ate the meat and preserved the head and the skin with chemicals,” said Sa’idu.
So, would you say a living dog is greater than a dead lion? I don’t think so, because no living dog is priceless as the Ibrahim Coomassie dead lion!