Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: Yes Where Was I?...The Dog Called Buhari.

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Yes Where Was I?...The Dog Called Buhari.

Its not over yet oh...




''Last Friday, my phones rang again and again (thank God for dead phones gradually playing Lazarus), but what triggered that ring-ring was the article:
“The Man Who Named His Dog Buhari” (August 26) in which I had indicated all the positive attributes of a dog and why a man naming his dog Buhari should not generate a community and legal trial or so much stress in the public space.  One caller kept me on the phone for close to two hours. 


       He said he was proceeding right-away to buy a dog and name it Reuben Abati and that he would bring that dog to my neighbourhood, with the name inscribed on both sides of the dog and he would in my presence call out the dog: “Reuben Abati, come and eat, Reuben Abati, stop shouting, Reuben, stop being stupid, Reuben, you this idiotic dog!” and he’d like to see my reaction.


  I laughed. He said it was not something to be amused about, because although I had argued that a dog is a man’s best friend, and that in other societies, a dog is treated with respect and considered loyal and trustworthy, his view was that I failed to acknowledge the fact that in our culture, to attach the name of a man to an animal is definitely an insult.  


     His point was that Africans are not cut out for that kind of indulgence, and we have not yet, given our peculiar circumstances of development and culture, attained that stage where animals are given such reverence, or a time when Africans will build hotels for cats and dogs, have sex with dogs, adopt animals as biological children or talk about animal rights.

 He said in Nigeria, dogs are variously perceived as a taboo, as a dirty animal, as bush meat to quench hunger or as item for rituals. He said a lot of other things. 
    “You were writing about a dog being so important in Western cultures. You should have told us what a dog is in our own culture and may be that will give you an idea of why Joe Chinakwe’s action should not be treated so lightly?” 
   He answered his own question. 


“What you don’t now is that a dog is a dirty animal in our culture. Even in the Bible, the dog is referred to as something dirty and vile, don’t mind these Oyinbo people now turning a dog into something important.  And if you are wondering why Joe Chinakwe’s neighbours want him dead, I need to tell you that in Islam, a dog is like a pig, a taboo.  Go and do your investigation, you are not likely to find Muslim families keeping dogs as pets. People use dogs for rituals in Yorubaland to appease Ogun, the god of iron and they eat it afterwards.


 In the South South, a dog is also a special delicacy for the family soup pot. And have you seen an Ondo man eyeing a dog, and salivating? Special meat. So, if a dog in America is a king, here it is a sacrificial lamb. Should anybody then give the suggestion around here that Buhari is a sacrificial lamb or an edible offering? What nonsense!”

    I kept quiet. I wanted him to exhaust his angst. 

“The lesson of this whole thing is that people should avoid actions that can cause problems.  We are living in a delicate country where people are suspicious of one another. People should learn to watch what they do. That your Chinakwe knew what he was doing. He took a dog, labelled it Buhari on both sides and went to a place occupied mostly by Northerners, and Muslims, and he started parading the dog. Look, he could have been killed. And if he was killed, the next thing we would hear is that Fulani herdsmen have killed an Igbo man and his dog. Nobody will ask for the cause of the violence, or talk about what the Igbo man did. Why should an Igbo man act that way? 

It is obvious a good number of them don’t like this government, and they have the right not to, but they should not disturb public peace, or try to frustrate this innocent man in Abuja.” 
      I gave a short speech about human rights and the freedom of choice, and the need to avoid ethnic labelling. He fired back, so loudly I had to move the phone a few inches away:     

    “Nobody is saying Igbos should support Buhari. But why is it that they are always the ones at the centre of every incident? When they live in your community, they want to take over. They will appoint an Eze Ndigbo, something they will not allow in the East for other ethnic groups, and they will disregard the local monarch. They have taken over a part of Lagos and claimed it as their own, but nobody else can claim any part of Igboland. 



Who introduced unitary government, but now Igbos are the ones saying they want Nigeria to be restructured. Every trouble in this country, there must be an Igbo hand in it. If that man and his dog had been slaughtered, the whole thing could have degenerated into an ethnic conflict.” 

       I made some statements about tolerance and why ethnic-labeling is unproductive. I argued that President Goodluck Jonathan was called a goat and that the goat had the name printed on it.  He didn’t allow me to land. 
“That was bad enough because a goat is regarded as a senseless animal among Igbos, they call it Mkpi. It wasn’t a Northerner that called Jonathan a goat.”  
    “They said worse things about him,” I interjected. 


“But no Northerner went to Jonathan’s household or his community to abuse him to his face. We must talk about our culture not American or European culture. If Chinakwe had named his dog Buhari and kept it within his compound, there would have been no problem, but to carry a placard on the dog and begin to walk around with it, that is provocative. Do we write names on dogs in Nigeria? We don’t. You can call your dog what you like, but don’t behave in a manner that can cause problems.”

     “But the police are being mischievous. They are doing eye service. They are chasing the wrong dog.”
“No”, he retorted. “It is their job to enforce law and order and to protect life and property. Your friend’s action posed a threat to what the police stand for. What was he trying to achieve? He deserves to be jailed” 
“Because he is Igbo?”
“Because he did something stupid.”    
“He says he named the dog Buhari because he loves President Muhammadu Buhari”
“He is lying.  He should know that no Muslim will feel honoured being called a dog.  And why is he mentioning the President’s name? A man who says his father is Alhaji Buhari, and he is aggrieved, took him to the police station. 

It has nothing to do with the President. He should be lucky he is alive. And being Igbo, he also knows that when you call a man Nkita in Igboland, he could take your head off in anger.” 

“I stand with him. We are in a democracy. He has the right to call his dog any name he chooses.” 

“Yes. But he cannot use the same name to provoke people. He is not being charged for naming a dog, he is being charged for inciting hate and behaving in a manner that could breach the public peace. If he loves President Buhari as he says, why doesn’t he name a child of his after the President? That is how we honour people we admire in African culture.  In your article, you were quoting white people, dead and alive, I am quoting my grandmother in the village whose wisdom is more relevant.” 

  “I still don’t get your point.  And I think we are spending too much energy on this naming of a dog and its parade.” 
“We should because small things matter a lot, and small things can destroy a country. People should know their environment and behave properly. I want to see that man punished.”
“I don’t want him to be punished. We should aspire to make this country an open and free society.”

“Of course, it is people like you who defend gay rights, abortion and prostitution. One man has  just been arrested, again in Ogun State, for stealing 18 tubers of yam (valued at N10, 000) and a bunch of vegetables (worth N50) I won’t be surprised if you argue that he is exercising his right to be free from hunger. Or you may even say- that is stealing and not corruption.” 

“I will argue that it is a sign of the times, in the same manner in which the widespread theft of pots of soup in local compounds is a sign of the times, and in fact in the same manner in which Chinakwe’s naming of his dog is a poignant political statement. When the people are hungry, angry, helpless and afraid, they will resort to codes, actions, symbols and metaphors to reflect their sorry condition and frustration. For your information, the man who stole yam and vegetables is insisting that he is not guilty! 

He is 30 years old and he has been remanded in prison custody.” 

“Good for him. We are waging a war against indiscipline and corruption.”  

    Long after the conversation with this fellow, who by the way is a government official in Abuja, I came to the same conclusion that Nigeria is at a tethering edge. We are not yet a nation. We are divided by ethnicity, culture, and religion and the walls of division are so strong, only a little push could pull down those walls.  This situation places us far away from the currents of democratic leadership and limits our ability to balance primordial culture with new realities and the people’s aspirations. We are at a crossroads of belief, unbelief and faithlessness. 

     I had thought or read that it was Joe Chinakwe (whose name keeps changing curiously in various reports - Joe, Joseph, Joachim, Iroko- but no matter, he is at best a working metaphor) who had put dog Buhari to death, but it turns out that the dog was actually killed by aggrieved Northerners in Chinakwe’s community. 

Chinakwe’s dog is yet another Nigerian metaphor: a metaphor of extant fault-lines. That Igbo dog-owner must watch his back. If he gets roughly handled like his dog, the same policemen who have been so busy trying to punish him are likely to do nothing since in their view, he brought it all upon himself. 

BY REUBEN ABATI


*The naming of the dog itself was not the issue but the reason behind it,the man used it to spite his neighbours and that was so wrong.see how this issue keeps coming back?he is from another ethnic tribe and with his eyes open tried to stir trouble which was handled well.If he had not been detained by the Police,only God knows how this would have turned out.People should be careful with ethnic stuff please!







41 comments:

TU said...

I had to scroll down first to check if it was Reuben, i amnt surprised, can't read all dis abeg.

jay said...

Reuben again

Default Smile said...

Reuben so its because of that man or d dog you wrote this long epistle. Kontinu



#I am a fruitful vine, I am a joyful mother of covenant children

faith said...

Stella u spoke well, all dis anti Buhari would be yarning dust, shallow minded tribalistic pipu

Mhzzbee int'l said...

When will this war end? Stella your ear dey hear orisirisi oooo

Lilly simple said...

Stell I have no doubt dat Mr Abati is your friend
I enjoyed reading it though

But I thought they said d man is Delta

Pure Nigerian said...

This matter don do abeg...so Reuben, na now you know say the country dey for edge?

Anonymous said...

If we want to remain ONE country, then we should look pass ethnic difference no matter the provocation. If we don't want, SIMPLY call for a referendum and divid the damn country back to what it was in 1914. Anybody who goes to the North shouldn't name a dog Buhari and we in the South can freely name our dogs what we like. It's 2016 y'all! Stella, read the history of provocation in Germany! Germans are still racists and think they are above everyone but because of tolerance, they know how to behave themselves.

Anonymous said...

Reuben Abati again... too long to read please.

Anonymous said...

Stella what are you saying? Where u there to know if it was to spite his neighbours? Since when did naming a dog a name become a huge crime? Just so shocked at your comment, what of dogs that were named Obama?he even said Buhari was his mentor

DonMayor said...

Nice article. That dog owner brought this upon himself. I gat no feeling for him.

ify onyekwelu said...

An interesting read as always.
Reuben, oooyes he doesn't disappoint. He brings two sides of the coin, leaving the reader to chose which side to belong to.
Good one uncle Reuben, good one.

Blossom said...

The man defending why Joe Chinakwe isn't only a govt official,he also must be from the north.

After Jonathan visited the emir of Buhari's village,they washed their street with truckload of water like the street has been infested with leprosy. They called him many unprintable names. Did he arrest anyone?

Shekau has been killed a dozen times yet the Chibok girls hasn't been found. The naira has been on free fall since and the economy is on recess. People are suffering,the caller is busy wasting time arguing rubbish in the midst of these national issues.

2019 is just 3yrs from now. We shall see then.

Anonymous said...

These people are practicing idolatory. They caused havoc during the miss world pageant now they causing another havoc over a dog. Does the name buhari belong to any of their prophets? Always an excuse to b violent because their blood is always boiling.
Learn to control ur temper,look the other way and turn the other chick. Ur Allah didn't make all of you this hot tempered. Living in fear and walking on eggshells in ur own country because ur living with people who love to explode like bombs...

Uriel (Freshdew) said...

Ruben Abati must you make a point with an epistle 😝👎
Yimu.

Anonymous said...

Breach of peace is a crime that's all.

EESAH (ORDINARY ME) said...

Already knew this piece was written by that Reuben Whatever and I didn't bother to read.

*not interested*

LUCILE COCONUT OIL ABUJA 07059605320 Pin- 2BC6235E said...

Mr Reuben Reuben

Anonymous said...

But dat man is from delta and not igbo. They would swear with their lives that they re not igbo. Yet once they re in trouble they ll not distance themselves from being igbo. The useless ones would always refer edo,bayelsa,rivers and any tribe that is not Yorba or hausa as igbo which they can never be. So long as u re not a biafran state to hell with u, u can never be igbo so reap what u sow!


Spit under dis comment and Spit on ur parents

Anonymous said...

But dat man is from delta and not igbo. They would swear with their lives that they re not igbo. Yet once they re in trouble they ll not distance themselves from being igbo. The useless ones would always refer edo,bayelsa,rivers and any tribe that is not Yorba or hausa as igbo which they can never be. So long as u re not a biafran state to hell with u, u can never be igbo so reap what u sow!


Spit under dis comment and Spit on ur parents

Anonymous said...

But dat man is from delta and not igbo. They would swear with their lives that they re not igbo. Yet once they re in trouble they ll not distance themselves from being igbo. The useless ones would always refer edo,bayelsa,rivers and any tribe that is not Yorba or hausa as igbo which they can never be. So long as u re not a biafran state to hell with u, u can never be igbo so reap what u sow!


Spit under dis comment and Spit on ur parents

Anonymous said...

Gbammest ...its certain Stella was riding something when she said what she said

Unyime Samson said...

Don't disturb public peace wrong your actions! Name your dog what you like but don't go taunting your neighbor with said name. Enough said

Anonymous said...

If you think there is nothing wrong with painting "Buhari" on a dog and parading it around a Northern/Muslim neighbourhood, then paint "Ojukwu" on a goat and parade it around Onitsha main market.

Do share the outcome with us.

Chummy cho cho said...

😁😁😁😁😁 This ur comment cracked me up. Make una leave Oga Reuben oo.

PayUrsula said...

I now understand the full gist thank u Reuben.

SteffySoFynSoFly said...

I only read the first two lines before scrolling to confirm if its rueben abati.

St.FranKooL.... said...

Why is Buhari so pained?
The Speaker's name is Mr.DOGara afterall and he's not complaining...

Anonymous said...

I'm sure calling someone a cow (nama) in Hausa culture isn't the most palatable comment to make but Fulanis name their cows Musa & Ibrahim and I'm still waiting for someone to sue

Lepa shandy is back said...

Anon 13:56, you said it all...
Why go anon? Are you scared of those fucking bitches and whores?

Anonymous said...

Was it not in the same Nigeria that OBJ donated a monkey abi Chimp to a zoo and named it 'Patience'. And he publicised it that I began to wonder, when donating animals to a zoo became a public thing.

Now, my question is, why wasn't OBJ's intention queried then, even though we clearly knew what he was trying to achieve with that.

Wasn't that singular action of his enough to heat up the country. But as expected, because he belongs to elite class, most people saw no wrong in it and argued on how he had the right to name his monkey whatever he desired.

You all supporting this madness, including Stella should take several seats. So what if he chooses to print a name on ' his' dog. So he isn't allowed to walk his dog again because he named it after Buhari. The problem here isn't the man and his dog, but the many bigoted, twisted and myopic minds we have here in Nigeria. Little wonder, we have refused to grow and move forward, because most have no sense of objectivity in them.
Everything to them is wrapped up in sentiments and emotion, that they can't even reason through. I weep for my dear country.

hawt chocolate said...

Yawn!!!!

Miz Attractive said...

Reuben u need a dose of lucile coconut oil to calm your nerves. This long epistle for just buhari the dog matter?

FRUITHFUL said...

If really this was what happened, the said man was inciting violence and it is punishable. Why do such; abeg.

sisi eko said...

Very apt. Say it anyhow you like, it was foolishness on the man's part abeg. This would have caused another unrest in that community.

Like Reuben rightly stated, that so called small issue could have ended in loss of lives if the police had not intervened when they did. And yes, the story would have changed to fulani herds men killing the Igbos or other tribes. No one would have understood what happened. Let's respect ourselves.

sisi eko said...

It doesn't really matter what tribe he belongs, the point is that he was stupid jare.

Anonymous said...

I keep on asking, will anything good ever come from Muslims? Their own is killing and die, blasphemy and the rest

You guys are cursed

Try come under my comment to type rubbish, the kind thunder that will fire you is starting beside you

sisi eko said...

And he had to inscribe the name on the dog and parade it in front of the man's son to provoke him to action right? C'mon now.. did he name the dog peacefully and they entered his house to cause trouble? Anyway I know u are reasonable and wouldn't have done such a thing. So let's be real without sentiments. Name ur dog whatever u like without trying to incite community unrest.

I'm glad Reuben caught his lies. The person that reported the case is one Alhaji Buhari's son, not the president. So he named the dog after the man's father, his neighbour, right? But when it became a public issue he now said it was because he loved President Buhari. Do u see how cunny he is? So that the attention will now be on the President when it wasn't about him in the first place. What sort of vindictiveness and mind game is that? Abeg abeg.

Anonymous said...

Was it not in the same Nigeria that OBJ donated a monkey abi Chimp to a zoo and named it 'Patience'. And he publicised it that I began to wonder, when donating animals to a zoo became a public thing.

Now, my question is, why wasn't OBJ's intention queried then, even though we clearly knew what he was trying to achieve with that.

Wasn't that singular action of his enough to heat up the country. But as expected, because he belongs to elite class, most people saw no wrong in it and argued on how he had the right to name his monkey whatever he desired.

You all supporting this madness, including Stella should take several seats. So what if he chooses to print a name on ' his' dog. So he isn't allowed to walk his dog again because he named it after Buhari. The problem here isn't the man and his dog, but the many bigoted, twisted and myopic minds we have here in Nigeria. Little wonder, we have refused to grow and move forward, because most have no sense of objectivity in them.
Everything to them is wrapped up in sentiments and emotion, that they can't even reason through. I weep for my dear country.

chim_oma chim_oma said...

Yes, Stella is trying to put words in this man's mouth which is so wrong of you. He granted an interview and said what made him name his dog Buhari.
Btw, is this name Buhari only answered by one person?
I wonder why people always read meaning/s to nothing.

The General's Wife said...

The man be looking like Jay Z.

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