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All Animals Are Not Equal

By Chioma Gabriel

My kids last Thursday went on excursion to Lekki Conservation Centre and came back very excited. In fact, they couldn’t wait for me to settle down after work to share their experience. In their innocence, they didn’t know when they passed a key information that typified what has been going on in Nigeria. A pupil from another school which also came on excursion , a white girl was eating biscuit and a monkey in the conservation centre begged to be given. When the girl was not forthcoming with sharing her biscuit with the monkey, the animal wanted to take it by force and the duo began to drag the biscuit. Unknown to the girl, another monkey hanging on a tree was watching. At a stage, having noticed how stingy the white girl was, the monkey on a tree jumped on the girl, collected the biscuit forcefully and jumped back on the tree.

The girl fainted.

After narrating their story, they burst into laughter and said the guide told them monkeys eat everything a human eats.

But I was thinking about other things.

Do you think that Animal Farm , an allegorical novella by George Orwell had Nigeria in mind ? We have heard all manner of stories about animals dealing with us as a people. Nigerians were told that a snake and a monkey stole huge sums of money belonging to the people and many took it with a pinch of salt. They didn’t know that monkeys can eat anything humans can eat, even snakes. They can spend naira and dollars too just like the rest of us.

Nigerians have been lamenting the rate at which animals are gradually creeping into national conversation with regards to funds.

When the story broke that some persons “spiritually” stole public funds kept in JAMB office through a mysterious snake that always crawled into the office to swallow the money from the vault, Nigerians doubted it. How come?

But just in case this story was true, a good senator, Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna central took a snake charmer to JAMB office to see the possibility of getting the snake to vomit the money but that was not to be.

Shortly after the snake incident, the same Senator Sani revealed that N70 million belonging to northern senators was carted away by monkeys at Senator Adamu farm in Nasarawa State.

Nigerians have been expressing mixed reactions to the news of animals stealing money in the country, Nigerians don’t believe in anything anymore. They don’t even know what to believe.

We simply don’t understand how ‘animals’ are being used by unscrupulous persons as a ploy to cover up their evil deeds as corruption seems to be taking bolder steps in the country.

Nigeria is gradually turning into the Animal Kingdom. One day, the tortoise will come out of nowhere and cunningly collect the money from the monkey and the snake and then turn all the other animals against each other.

For those of us who don’t believe these tales by the moonlight, let us at least enjoy the steady source of comic relief and fountain of ridicule coming from the animal kingdom.

What do Nigerian politicians take us for? Do they think we are that gullible?

From the time president Buhari went on medical tourism, animals have been dealing with Nigeria. It was the same Senator Sani who posted on social media during Buhari’s absence that jackals and hyenas were tramping on the weaker animals, in the absence of the lion, in the belief that the lion would not come back. He said that it was the prayer of the weaker animals that the lion should come back soon.

And the president’s wife, Aisha Buhari had responded metaphorically to the posting saying: “God has answered the prayers of the weaker animals. The hyenas and the jackals will soon be sent out of the kingdom. We strongly believe in the prayers and support of the weaker animals.”

And the lion returned.

First, it was a rat in the ‘lion’s den’ that him out of his den, making him to operate from the house.

Currently, Nigerians are battling with the issue of cattle sacking communities and herders killing off the farmers. Now, where pupils ought to be in school, cattle have taken over the classrooms, the universities, government houses and the highways.

What is going on in Nigeria? Are we really serious? Or don’t we appreciate the depth of the damage animals is causing us?

When will Nigeria be done with animal business? When will that lunacy come to an end? When will animals cease to be blamed for all the woes of Nigeria?

What are the cause of animal madness and addiction to money? Nigerians have made enough fun of these incidents. We should get serious and tell ourselves the human truth.

We seem to be in the era of animals greater than man.

Mais les Nigérians peuvent-ils jamais vivre à l’abri de la tyrannie de leurs maîtres des animaux? (But can Nigerians ever live free from the tyranny of their animal masters?)



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