The squirrels are the common people of this country. The victims of the misrule, the wickedness, the deliberate assailment of a people by the ones that should watch over their interests…
It has taken the pains of my Nigerian citizenship to bring out the principal purpose of God for my life. I was born to preach. I was created to draw lessons from everything and everyone around me, and I have been blessed with a prophetic insight into the hidden secrets of my country, Nigeria. Let the wise heed my sermon today.
I owe posterity my biography, it contains enough of my several errors and follies to illuminate the path for the young, and should have enough tales of the redemptive grace of God to encourage the reprobate sinner. The pains of witnessing the ongoing rot and putrefaction in my country makes any biographical writing a tad self-indulgent, and that exercise shall await the better days ahead.
But today’s sermon takes its origins from a period I shall yet write about in future: the semester spent in the then University Of Ife, before the admission into LASU alaro. I was squatting at Fajuyi Hall with a childhood friend that I still occasionally regret having ever known, but God knows best. And that is a story for another day.
They had a long row of shower stalls at the rear of the hall, and just behind, some dense vegetation. I was in the shower and the time must have been about 11Am or thereabouts. The sun had just begun its watch, and the people from the university Works Department were busy sweeping the residences, and trimming the flowers. Just the typical morning buzz, nothing loud, or unusual. Then the shrieks began.
Infernal shrill shrieks! Loud! Piercing! And the gardeners and cleaners began their own conference. It is the squirrel, they proclaimed. It must have seen a snake another one offered. Or perhaps an eagle, said another. He was quickly reminded that the eagles wouldn’t be hunting beneath the canopy of the trees and the dense vegetation. Another round of shrill shrieks, and the search party moved in to look for the snake they all had come to agree was the source of the squirrel’s agitation.
A rather plump python was bagged by the coterie of hunters, and the original hunter ended up as not only the hunted, but the lunch for the opportunistic hunters alerted by the original prey. Relevance to the Nigerian situation and my intended sermon? Wait for it. Of what use is a preacher without his allegories?
The snake in my story represents the evil tendencies of the Nigerian state. The DSS, the iniquitous judicial system, the wicked readiness of the entire system to pervert the course of justice, punish the innocent, and reinforce injustice. It represents the vile lawlessness of the Buhari regime, and the insidious evil of the entire governance system in the subjugation of the rights of the citizens. The snake is as much Ayade, as it is Buhari, it is as much about the DPO at Mushin, as it is about the Magistrates that dispenses injustice. The snake is an aggregation of our national maladies.
The squirrels are the common people of this country. The victims of the misrule, the wickedness, the deliberate assailment of a people by the ones that should watch over their interests. The squirrels are left defenseless against the rapaciousness of the snakes, and are constantly victims of the ones that should have protected them. But whilst the squirrels have no weapons with which to fight the snakes, there are the occasional squirrels that retained the capacity to shriek. And there would always be the gardeners with a taste for snake meat.
See the snake hunting gardeners, those are the lions sent forth as lambs. The wolves, abi na snakes, would be well advised to call off their perpetual hunt. Christmas is not a good time for Tolotolo to be doing fashion parade.
A word for the wise!
First published 26 December, 2019.