photocredit: www.sodahead.com

photocredit: www.sodahead.com

It was not a scene from one of the comic Nollywood flicks. The report which was first published in the Vanguard newspaper of Friday, January 23, 2009 captioned “Police Parade Goat as Robbery Suspect”, with a picture of the goat, had caused a sensation around the world.
The Nigerian Police Force, legendary for inefficiency, corruption and brutality added another epithet; banality. From the report in the Vanguard, written by Demola Akinyemi, the Kwara State Police Command had on Thursday, Janauary 22, 2009 shocked journalists when it paraded a goat as a robbery suspect.

The Nigerian Police Force, legendary for inefficiency, corruption and brutality added another epithet; banality. From the report in the Vanguard, written by Demola Akinyemi, the Kwara State Police Command had on Thursday, Janauary 22, 2009 shocked journalists when it paraded a goat as a robbery suspect.
The PRO of the State Police Command Tunde Mohammed had told the maniacally bewildered journalists (apologies to Hon. Obiaghagbon), that the “goat robber” had attempted to steal a Mazda 323 with another person and took to their heels when they were accosted by the Men of a local security outfit (popularly called vigilante in local parlance).
One of the suspects had escaped while as the other one was about to be arrested, he “turned his back against the wall and turned to this goat. They quickly grabbed the goat and here it is”. The PRO, swollen headed in his grand sense of achievement, had said the goat will be detained pending the conclusion of investigations.
Calling for the prosecution of the “robber goat”, the head of the security group Prince Omoniyi Nasirudeen had corroborated the PRO’s story; “the suspect was actually a human being and was still running until he was pursued to a corner where he quickly put his back behind the wall with one of the legs and turned to the sheep which was quickly grabbed”.
The reactions were swift and unsparing of the Police for believing and feeding such “bunkum” to the Public. However, some people welcomed the news as an indication of the acceptance and recognition of voodoo in the Nigerian legal system which had always in the tradition of the British, dismissed it as impossible and unscientific.
The Police was the butt of jokes and the story was made the subject of various theories. The BBC had captioned the story “Police Hold ‘robber’ Goat”, reported by Andrew Walker, describing the Nigerian Police as incompetent.

On a lighter note, Tolu Ogunlesi had in an Article on Daily Independent Online titled “Enough is Enough: Nigerian Goats Fight Back”, asked;

“The question we should instead be asking is this: which came first – the man or the goat?
In other words, do we have a man who turned into a goat for the purposes of evading arrest (a man disguising as a goat), or a goat who turned into a man for the purposes of stealing a car (a goat disguising as a man)?
The Implications of both scenarios are quite different mind you.
If it’s a man who turned into a goat in order to evade arrest, well, I think that’s his problem. Imagine trying to cram the scale and depth of a human mind into the personality of a goat. A goat! What is that if not heightened stupidity? And what if someone decided to convert you into ‘isi ewu’ before you transformed back into a man?
Our main concern therefore should be with scenario 2 which in my opinion is the more plausible one: a goat transforming into a man for the purposes of stealing a car (and with the intention of becoming a goat afterwards).”

Suggesting that Nigerian goats were fed up with the short end of the stick they were getting from the society and thus were up in a rebellion, Ogunlesi warned that other animals may join them to make the society even more “ungovernable” than Boko Haram. Hear him:

“Cats will strike soon. Cats are arguably the most hated animals in Nigeria today. They are witches and demons and principalities; bead-eyed monsters that lurk in the shadows of human dwellings; devious, possessed.
When our cats decide to strike, they will not steal cars. They will snatch ballot boxes instead. They will steal confidential presidential memos and leak them to the world. They will not give a damn! They will put to shame the professional skills of our Zoologist-in-chief – none of the Feline theories he learned in school will be able to explain them! And labelling them ‘opposition animals’ won’t work either.
They are not only smarter (by far) than goats and cows, they are impossible to catch. They will embarrass the police! If they can’t be caught, how will they be paraded as criminals?
And with their nine lives, how will they be overwhelmed by the famed ‘superior firepower’ of the NPF?”

Back to our “robber” goat story, the Police had detained the “robber” goat for a period of one week within which the animal had enjoyed it’s fame in the media and pilgrims were reported to have thronged the Kwara State Police Command for a glimpse of it (probably for a fee).
The animal probably aware of its fame or being the typical “stubborn goat” or probably protesting its incarceration as Tolu Ogunlesi suggested in his rebellion theory, was reported to have gone on hunger strike, refusing to eat grass or any other thing except drink water throughout the period of its detention.

The drama came to an end after a week when it was reported in the media that the Police Commissioner had recanted his men’s heresy, describing the story as an embarrassment to the Police Force.
Despite the insistence of the members of the security group that the goat be prosecuted, the goat was later auctioned off for N300. 00 as an unclaimed property following a court order under section 31 of the Police Act. However no mention was made of the buyer, fuelling rumours it was used for isi ewu delicacy by the Police.

 

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