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Ovy’s Pasteries

Ovy’s Pasteries
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Saturday, January 16, 2021


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By Balogun Omeiza David (BOD), Lokoja.

January 15th of every year is set aside as The Armed Forces Remembrance Day (AFRD). It is a day Nigerians set aside to celebrate and commemorate the service men of Nigerian Armed Forces. It also honours veterans of the World War l and ll as well as the Nigerian Civil War. This year's edition of the AFRD has come and gone but a particular scene that happened at the event that is not the first time it is happening has engulfed the social media.

The pigeon is one of the several birds of the family Columbidae which consists more than 300 species. They are a specially domesticated bird like the hen, cock, duck and the guinea fowl. They like freedom and mainly black and white in colour. The white pigeon is known to many as a bird that brings good omen. Some however waves this aside to be a superstitious believe. I wanted agreeing with those who hung their believes that the pigeon is not as important a bird as we are made to believe by some people when suddenly I ran into a scripture in the Bible. The book of Luke 2:22-24 told us of how according to the law of Moses after the completion of the days of purification, they brought Jesus up to Jerusalem. A sacrifice of two young pigeons followed them to the temple. This made me to believe to a point that the pigeon or dove are truly not ordinary birds as the Holy Spirit that is to teach us all things is also depicted to be a dove or pigeon like bird. I was privileged to be discussing with an elderly man who had many pigeons and were always flying and hovering over his roof and entire compound. The pigeons in this man's house were mainly whitish in colour. He told me that aside the joy he derives in seeing them flying and also their cooing sound he enjoyed so much, they are also a kind of bird that instead of them allowing any evil to befall you their owner, one of them will drop dead.

Let it be known to us that the ritual of releasing doves or white pigeons is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one that is why it is common during funerals or memorials. It also signifies a sign of peace each time they are released. As I earlier said, pigeons loves to be free as they are always fond flying around and returning back to their nests. In fact, the male and female pigeons that happens to be husband and wife takes turn to incubate their eggs. That is why domesticated pigeons who are used to living in cages are not always keen on flying whenever they are released for such purpose. This is exactly what happened to President Muhammed Buhari (PMB) at the National Arcade when he picked one of the pigeons, threw it into the air but rather than flying, the bird landed on top of the cage. PMB was eager to see the pigeons fly so, he totally opened the roof of the cage in a quest to send them all out and flying but the pigeons remained recalcitrant and decided to sit atop of the cage's roof. With no option left for PMB, he returns to his seat. Funny enough, some of the pigeons flew away from the cage after PMB left. This was what set social media platforms on fire as people began to read different meanings to the pigeons that refused to fly as if they held a meeting to spite PMB on a special day as the AFRD.

What happened to PMB at the National Arcade at the Eagle Square is not something new. In 2014, the Vatican city in Rome where you have the Pope stopped the ritual of releasing doves for special events when we were made to understand that Pope Francis released two birds that refused to fly out of the window of the Papal apartment. Several attempts had to be made to make the pigeons fly to the amazement of large crowd of worshippers gathered for worship. Still in 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan freed some pigeons and they also refused to make use of their wings. This particular action of the refusal of the pigeons to fly was perched on by Revd. Fr. Ejike Mbaka of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu as he described this act to mean that God has abandoned Jonathan. I still stand by the fact that caged birds hardly will fly immediately they are released from the cage. They will surely have their dull moments before they spread their feathery wings to fly.

As PMB and the issue of the non flying pigeons in Abuja were making the headlines, some people digressed and started asking if the pigeon(s) in Kogi State also flew. These set of people from other states in Nigeria were much concerned about His Excellency, Alh. Yahaya Adoza Bello, the Executive Governor of Kogi State. They have always seen PMB as the father of Bello. On a daily basis, Bello's matter continues to ring a bell in their ears. Those asking this question were not even concerned about their own state governor's pigeon whether theirs flew or not but Bello was their concern. Our pigeon in Kogi State as released by our governor actually flew into the air God designed it to always fly and show to humanity its own part of God's wonders of creation. Our pigeon likes freedom of movement and flight as that is what makes it get its daily bread. Our pigeon did not want to be locked down because of any strange disease called COVID-19. The pigeon in Kogi State was well aware that the hand it was been released from was the hand of the singular governor in Nigeria who never bowed to the idea of caging people at home all in the name of a so called pandemic that has crippled the economic, education and religious activities and what have you. The dove knew the coast was safe for it to fly and land whenever it so desires. We all know the no nonsense approach Bello has shown towards security in Kogi State. Those who argued on social media spaces that the pigeons at the National Arcade refused to fly because of the prevalent insecurity in the country that has led to the loss of many lives may not be wrong. It is their opinion and they have a right to express it. We may also want to know when the decision of the pigeons to fly when they are meant to do so at any given event signifies peace and tranquility in the land.

The pigeons have come out clearly to symbolize the old and new order. It was as if the pigeons in Abuja and the ones in Lokoja actually held a meeting to make known the minds of Nigerians over 2023. Never again will Nigerians allow old men in their seventies or eighties rule them. Never again will Nigerians allow men are sick bodily as a result of old age coast to victory in any election. Never again will thuggery or godfatherism hold sway in our political environment. Never again will an old wine skin be allowed to mingle with a he wine skin. PMB is our President till 2023. No evil will befall him. He will not die. Fine, he is old and prone to sickness but each time he falls sick, God will surely heal him again. He may not have performed to our expectations but wishing him dead will never be a thought that will cross my mind. God owns our lives and only Him knows when He will ring the closing bell for each and everyone here on earth.

Most importantly, let us all be aware that the pigeon that flew effortlessly in Lokoja is not without a meaning. Our own Bello has shown interest in contesting for the Presidency in 2023 and on his hands the pigeon(s) flew and graciously spreads its wing in joyful flight. May God allow us all to see the glory of Nigeria we have always prayed for. The biblical Noah released the raven bird from the ark they were all hiding for it to survey the level of the water that God used in wiping away the world. This raven bird hovered over the waters until the water was dry and safe for Noah and others to walk on dry land. Bello released a bird on Friday the 15th of January, 2021 and it has flown. May it bring news of soft landing for his desired ambition.

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