Saturday, February 6, 2021 4:52 pm
𝘉𝘺 𝘒𝘶𝘯𝘭𝘦 𝘖𝘫𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘺𝘦
Thirty-five years ago, it was a very rural neighbourhood. Houses were few. Many of the family compounds were on massive grounds with well-cultivated gardens, orchards and significant parts utilised for cultivating cash crops. Unoccupied plots in the neighbourhood were generally used for subsistence farming by the owners or caretakers.
One day, a woman in an adjacent neighbourhood bought two piglets which she allowed to roam the neighbourhood foraging for food. Initially, the piglets, as they grew, kept themselves to the refuse dumps looking for food to eat. As such, no one paid attention to them.
Trouble began about a year and a half later. Piglets had become massively big pigs and started to breed. The refuse dumps could no longer satisfy their need, and they started to cross into the gardens and farming plots of neighbours.
Neighbours complained severally to the owner, asking her to construct a pen for her herd and contain them. She refused to listen, in as much she did not have to labour to provide food for them.
The neighbours decided to take safety measures for their gardens and food crops. They constructed wooden fences to keep the destructive pigs out.
Alas, not only did the hogs find a way of breaking through the fences, where they could not, they began to burrow underneath the wooden fences to get into the enclosed gardens and farmlands.
More furious complaints went to the owner, but she would not listen.
One fateful day, an elderly neighbour with a huge farming area that was constantly been rampaged by the swine decided to take action.
It was a very sunny day. As the swine burrowed through the gaps they had created underneath the fence into his garden and were having a field day, he summoned the young children in his immediate vicinity and gave all of them make-shift cudgels.
He tasked some to man all-but-one of the exits from his massive compound, while others were asked to move into the planted area to chase the swine out.
Meanwhile, Papa as we called him, was more prepared for action. He went inside, brought out a well-sharpened machete, and waited at the most likely exit points the swine would use.
To cut a long story short, at the end of the exercise, two huge pigs were beheaded with all others allowed to escape after a good beating.
The carcasses of the beheaded ones were thereafter deposited on one of the refuse dumps.
By the time the owner of the swine got to know what befell her herd, wandering dogs were halfway into a free meal of two huge pigs lying on the neighbourhood refuse dump.
From the following day until today, we never saw any roaming pig or swine in the neighbourhood again.
Above is a true life story. It is not fiction.
Listen to the complaint of people. Understand their anguish. Be proactive to put in measures that make them not only listened to, but also valued.
When you fail to take measures, to ensure your possessions or people do not become a menace to the security and safety of other people as well as their properties, the Igboho in many of us will eventually rise to the surface.
And woe betide he or she that crosses our path in that moment of fury.
The earlier herdsmen champions in Nigeria’s political space, borrow themselves some appropriate sense, the better before the issue on the ground becomes a raging fire they will not be able to control or quench.