Cattle

By Ifedayo Babalola

Psychologists suggest that our fascination with hybrid creatures stem from the fact that inside of us, our politics, our governments, and our institutions exist simultaneous potentials for savagery as well as tenderness. This split personality theory inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – a fictional work about a well respected doctor who sometimes manifested as his own evil alter ego.

It is no wonder, therefore, that legends exist in all parts of the world about hybrid creatures. As children, their stories filled you with such dread that you feared to be alone in the dark. And even beyond childhood, the possible existence of half-human half-animal beings continue to fascinate mankind.

Greco-Roman mythologies gave us many of them. Egyptian and Indian mythologies too.

Coming closer home, the late D. O. Fagunwa, in his classic, Igbo Olodumare, brought Ojola Ibinu (Python of Rage) to our consciousness. The man-eating snake was as deadly as they come – a character made even more deadly because at the end of its huge elongated body was a human face. Ojola Ibinu talked like man, and with its body out of view, you’d have no hesitation in accepting from it a dinner invitation oblivious to the fact that you are on the menu.

Like mythical creatures, like hybrid governments. Perhaps, more than anything else, the mishandling of Nigeria’s malignant herdsmen crisis exemplifies the duplicitous nature of the present administration.

Much has been written and said about RUGA in the past weeks.As such, I do not intend a rehash of the evil schemes of its sponsors. My objective rather, is to warn that its suspension should only be cautiously celebrated at best. Make no mistake about it. RUGA (Rural Grazing Area) is still alive and in social media parlance, loading. What the government has done is to slap on it a human face in the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP).

Cattle

As has been announced, NLTP has two basic components:

One is the humanitarian aspect comprising compensation and resettlement of persons affected by the herdsmen crisis. This is the human face that has been slapped on RUGA as bait, and it is the aspect that RUGA proponents were willing to circumvent had they succeeded in dry running their abridged version down our throats.

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