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When The Pigeons Refuse To Fly


There is something basic to learn from an event as insignificant but symbolic as pigeons refusing to fly on Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

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At the usually iconic ceremony every January 15th, the laying of wreaths and release of white pigeons is one of the symbolic events set aside to mark the heroes who died while trying to keep Nigeria together.

But on this particular day, on January 15, 2021, marking the ceremony at the National Arcade, President Muhammadu Buhari, released the latch holding the white pigeons securely in the cage and they refused to fly. After a few tries by the president to get the pigeons to flurry away, he gave up and left the cage to attend to other events.

Naturally, pigeons would fly away after being released from captivity but the natural order of things did not hold on that fateful day. The media reported it as the first of such in recent times and it became a sordid point of reflection for the lacklustre administration being run by the Federal government.

It then happened that this event was not an isolated one. In Imo state, the pigeons also did not fly after the governor, Hope Uzodinma, released them from their cage.

What could have caused these pigeons not to fly? What changed?

When the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them in 2014, Father Mbaka of the Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (AMEN) was quick to describe the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan. So what would we call this one?

While it became a talking point for many Nigerians on social media platforms, others viewed it as a bad omen on the administration. Meanwhile, it may just be that the pigeons have not been well managed, well-fed and prepared for the iconic event.

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Obviously reacting from the bad press which the pigeons have caused, presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, said that the pigeons could not fly on Armed Forces Remembrance Day because they have been kept in the cage for a very long time. What if they have been mismanaged by untrained professionals and without adequate care?

Whatever reason is given for this anomaly will still point back to mismanagement. This is a testament to the fact that bad governance does cascade all the way from the top to the ranks below. Whatever incompetence people see in their leaders will spread wide across an organisation.

If we are keeping a buck for every instance of maladministration going on at the coffers of government, even a peasant would be rich enough.

In any political climate, the reality of the civil service is like clockwork. Once they spot a slacking president and notice a lackadaisical body language, they largely sit back until things begin to rot away. This could have been the case with the bird keeper whose duty it is to handle these birds.

If everything had been done well and properly before the event, at least some of the birds would have flown out immediately they were released.

It should become more commonplace to pay attention to events which are considered insignificant as this and employ the same in looking inwards to better our national reality.


Punch NG

Featured Image Source: Premium Times NG

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Macaddy Gad

Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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