This Is the Age of the Cow

by Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

I am sorry for any Nigerian who cannot speak the language of the cow.

In truth, I am daily mastering cow language, and you do need to come and see me do the mooing inside a forest near my house.

Living in the forest and mooing like a cow is the way to go. Any so-called Nigerian that cannot rise up to the humpy height of a cow risks being reduced to a goat that must instantly be slaughtered.

The rise of the cow in Nigerian affairs started out when the gurus of power and political sophistication came to the conclusion that it’s only with the installation of a sacred cow upon the country that all the troubles of Nigeria can be solved.

An old soldier of fortune and letter-writing was brought out of hibernation to do the underground duty of navigator.

The chosen sacred cow tossed aside his divine bull toga to don the gears of Efigbo, Malu, Nama and whatnot to court the appeal of all and sundry.

The sacred cow had a guttural voice that could only be understood or interpreted by a cabal of inner acolytes.

The cabal put out word that the sacred cow had “the power to cut mighty America down to size, dollar for naira, one to one in equality and equilibrium.”

There was wild jubilation when it was revealed that the sacred cow would use his divine bull appurtenances to ensure total security all over the land.

As if to cap it all up, the compelling vow of the sacred cow rose on high that he would bullishly cow corruption into stupor.

To celebrate the inauguration of the sacred cow, one pumped-up man did the reverse North-to-South journey of Fulani cattle by walking with his rugged feet from South to North, that is, from Lagos to Abuja.

At the end of the long trek from Lagos to Abuja, the man turned into a cow!

It’s not as if the fellow is the first in history to turn into an animal. Anybody who reads or watches Eugene Ionesco’s play, Rhinoceros, would see that at the end of the play people turned into rhinos.

In the light of the Lagos-to-Abuja trekker turning into a cow, many other Nigerians felt that turning into cows was a most patriotic act to follow.

Before turning into cows, alias cattle, these Nigerian patriots cursed the hell out of good old Samuel Johnson who had written way back in 1775 AD: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”

On this matter of doting on the sacred cow, professors could not be outdone by politicos in the jungle business of turning into cows.

One Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) swallowed his wig and gown only to moo at the feet of the sacred cow thusly: “It’s cool to be herded like cattle by our one and only sacred cow!”

The sacred cow replied him with queer arithmetic: “Don’t expect me to treat the 97 percent that turned into cows in the same manner as the rebel 5 percent who insist on remaining as humans!”

“But we all belong to the same one land!” screamed a rebel of the 5 percent minority, daring the enraged sacred cow to do his worst.

“Put all of them in Ruga!” commanded the sacred cow.

“Take your Ruga to your arid region of rabid cows!” The stentorian voice of the rebel was unrelenting.

The sacred cow stared at the cows and hollered: “My darling cows, take over all the forests of this land!”

“We shall not surrender any of our ancestral lands to your mad cows!” the rebel hollered back.

The tension was tighter than a taut rope. Even the air stood still.

When the highly annoyed sacred cow found his voice, he thundered: “Bring me hardened herdsmen from the Sahel to protect my cows and then rule the forests!”

Amid the wild confusion unleashed by the words of the sacred cow, security took flight while corruption grew horns and good old Naira performed the tropical magic of turning into ordinary paper upon the onslaught of the American Dollar.

It’s tough for me continuing to write now that AK-47 bandits are spitting fire that a dead cow is worth more than 100 people, and my head is spinning as I no longer know which is news – whether if a dog bites a man or a man bites a dog or whatever…

Poet that I am, I reply the AK-47 pointed at me with poetry:

Bite a cow
And die
O Poet
Now there’s fatwa
On your head
In the ancestral
Land of green
Coveted in crimson
By the septal sacred cow
Of the hired guns
From Futa Jallon
Grazing all foliage
Whilst lancing and skewering
All souls in sight
In the ordained march
To dip satanic verses
By way of the Atlantic.


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