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Started by Abbas Bubakar El-ta'alu, July 15, 2008, 05:55:45 AM

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Abbas Bubakar El-ta'alu

   My dear members, although I changed the title from "A MUST READ..........ONLY NIGERIANS" to the one herein, this write-up came to me, from  Zulfikar Aliyu Adamu (Dhahran, KSA) and  through several hands; people that think (as I also do) once a  Nigerian, the article may arouse alot of your interests, sympathy for the beloved nations, and even omens; others may even condemn the thought of the author. Whatever may be the case, I do believe that many of us would find alot of interesting things in it. Because the length of the article would exceed the one allowed, I hereby report it in numbers.   
   "Unfortunately these days, any dog waiting patiently to eat the fattest bone in Nigeria will only starve to death and it will be lucky not to be consumed by other starving dogs. I am not twisting a proverb. It's a stark reflection of the realities on ground today. All over the cityscapes and villages of Nigeria , canines and mongrels of various pedigrees (e.g. the poor man's hunting dog and the rich man's bulldog) can be seen scavenging through piles of refuse; side-by-side with vultures and pigs. Even goats and sheep now chew polythene bags with a new-found appetite due to the sheer level of suffering in the land. When chickens scratch Nigerian soil today, they are not necessarily separating the stones from the seedlings. Oh, no. They are just ceremoniously practicing the art of their fore-fathers due to sheer habit - because in reality of today, anything their beaks can swallow is regarded as edible, and it is up to their gizzards to distinguish what is vitamin and what is Shit. Excuse the language, please.
   Let me elaborate further because there is much to be learned from ordinary livestock and pets around us. On a recent trip to Nigeria , a friend happily decided to assassinate one of his fowls in order for his Missus to prepare pepper-soup in honor of my August visit which happened in June, by the way. My pleas for him not to bother fell on deaf ears - and before you could say cuck-kuroo-koo, the proudest cock in his backyard was sentenced to death by the domestic court. Its appeals for mercy and clemency fell on deaf ears and its attempt to flee into exile (the neighboring compound) was decoded and interrupted by my friend's agile son. The condemned cock was then bound in shackles and as it lay panting on the ground, supplications and incantations to the Almighty were made. Soon, the lifeless chicken was soaked in hot water for 15 minutes. My friend then began the task of plucking the feathers, with the vexatious energy of someone unhappy with the social and economic situation of the land. I watched silently. Next, the culinary dissection of the chicken parts commenced. He was assisted by his son who was all too eager to put more cocks to the sword. As the plucking and butchering progressed, my friend was all the while updating me on the (dire) state of the nation. I listened intensively, captivated by the astonishing revelations of how bad things had become in Nigeria , within the last one year - alone. By the time the surgical process had reached the innards of the pitiful animal, I watched unbelievably as he removed pieces of glass, metal, cloth and many other Unidentified Swallow-able Objects or USOs as he called them.
   A wise man once said that you can tell about a man, his character and his habits by sifting through his rubbish bin. In the same vein, you can tell the economic status of a country by going through the gizzard of its chickens or the bowels of its goats. As he cleaned some parts of the chicken, my friend noticed the quizzical burrows on my forehead as my eyes stayed fixated on the USOs lying on a plastic bowl by his feet. He rolled his eyes in a comical gesture and informed me that I had not even seen the worst. He asked me (half-seriously) if I would like to see what was in the bowels of his biggest goat. I politely declined the opportunity even though I liked esi-ewu. The reason I am not a medical doctor today is partly due to my phobia for cadavers, besides; only God knew if we would find a shoe or a wheel-barrow in the bowels of the goat in question.
   My friend then continued his dissertation of the Nigerian economy as he dissected the backbone of the chicken with the swiftness of a Chinese butcher. Mostly, he concentrated on the issue of electric Power (the chronic lack of it, that is) as he watched me wipe rivers of sweat off my face. He then touched on the recent food scarcity which had swept the land like a swarm of starved locusts descending on a rice farm. I had known my friend since our days of boarding secondary school and he re-educated me on what we were taught in Agricultural Science and animal husbandry in particular. As students, we were taught that goats (like all ruminants) had four stomachs and they used the first two chambers for quick storage of food; so that they could later on sit silently somewhere and chew the cud. 'Now, my friend declared, 'the only cud that goats are chewing nowadays is not necessarily composed of grass or grain'. You won't appreciate the amount of calories found in discarded pure-water sachet until you are a starving goat in Nigeria of today, he concluded. My friend is a practicing veterinary doctor, by the way.
   Indeed, these are desperate times in Nigeria for both man and animal. Based on my deductions from the conversation with my friend as well as my personal observations, it is perhaps not inaccurate to suggest here that a sizeable number of Nigerians (both of the human and animal species) are becoming ever more desperate by the day. Over the years since independence, Nigerians have survived ALL the hardship and wretchedness that has befalling them through no fault of theirs. We have tightened our belts and made new holes when necessary. Some of us even preferred to use rope around our trousers (in the guise of wearing native dress) in order to bypass the need for making endless holes in our belts. We have survived the civil war, Austerity measures, SAP, military coups, counter-coups, the June 12 impasse, bad leadership, bad roads, stolen billions, Lawrence Anini and we even outlived NEPA of old. What the heck, we even survived Olusẹgun Mathew Okikiọla Arẹmu Obasanjo of all people, and we are seemingly prepared to absorb any misfortune or calamity that life throws at us. So how bad can things become again, you may ask?  Well, the REAL bad news is that if care is not taken, in a few years time, we may begin to call today, "the good ol days". If you think I am exaggerating, then consider how relatively 'better' things were economically, under IBB and Abacha and then extrapolate it with status quo of today, then project into the near future and see for yourself. Not looking good, abi?

"It is not the strongest species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the ones that are more responsive to change"
                               ~ Charles Darwin ~

"You can not hold a man down without staying down with him".


Not long ago, a Nigeria newspaper was referring to Abacha as Saint Abacha!!
Ghafurallahi lana wa lakum