In 1987, amidst the controversy that beclouded his removal as the police spokesman in Lagos, Police officer Alozie Ogugbuaja was transferred to Calabar , the capital of Cross River State, where Mr. Parry Osayande held sway as the command commissioner. This writer was the Chief Correspondent of the defunct National Concord Newspaper in the State.
Mr Ogubuaja resides in my neighborhood at State Housing Estate, Government Reserved Area, (GRA) Calabar.
One unique feature at the gate of Mr Ogubuaja was not the presence of police men on guard, but a big board with the above title “Dog beware of man”. What a philosophical rhyme. His professional challenges may have made him recoil into his inner recesses. When the military governor of the state, Navy Captain lbim Princewill once put the question to him, Ogubuaja simply answered: “Your Excellency, it is philosophically deeper than what it is”. Alozie Ogubuaja had some fierce looking Alsatian dogs in his compound. Could he be admonishing his dogs that the only being, they should be scared of is man. Man disappointed Ogubuaja, man cut his aspiration and dream even when his service was uttermost. Man was not fair to him.
After all, God the creator of man said in Jeremiah chapter 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” No wonder man is quick to engage in criminal activities like terrorism, robbery, kidnapping, corruption etc. It is interesting, when top security personnels use vicious animals to study how to plan their operational strategies. Most advanced security activities and strategies were emulated from the behaviors of animals, reptiles and birds. It is known that a new fowl in a new environment usually stand on one leg, observing and studying the new environment before adaptation. So are security guards posted to a new beat, is expected to first observe and study the environment for better acclamitisation.
Continental Army Major General Charles Henry Lee according to record, served as a general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He also served earlier in the British Army during the Seven Years War. General Lee served for a time in the Polish army of King Stanislaus. He is remembered not only for his military accomplishments, but also for usually traveling with many dogs by his side. Lee was deeply attached to his dogs, and carried that reputation with him wherever he went. Also, German military leader Adolf Hitler was reported to be very close to his dogs named “Göring’s lions and Blondi. According to reports, he spend much time watching the dog while hunting. Despite killing millions of people, Adolf Hitler loved his dogs and keeps a notebook.
Today, the Chief of Army Staff , Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has a past-time hobby which is not rearing cows nor goats, but surprisingly, it is one animal many would dare not keep at arms length nor get close to. It is snakes!
Ten kilometers off Kebbi Road, after Abuja, there exist a large farm where supposedly dangerous large snakes are reared. These large snakes know their owner and he plays with them. Rearing snakes like pythons is no mean feat, not to talk of playing with them the way and manner mother monkeys play with their little ones.
General Buratai is home with the large Pythons. He has courage. He is indeed a man like biblical David who wrestled and killed a Lion. Buratai has gut. When his picture playing with one of the great snakes went viral, many started seeing him from a different dimension. Could it be that apart from the formal war experiences he had garnered over the years as the head of the Military Joint Task Force in N’Djamena, Chad and in the north east, he was also copying the natural operational tactics of the python when it goes after its prey. Bandits are like the forest monkeys, that pythons easily lay siege to track down. May be, the recent visit of General Buratai to his Python snake farm, apart from extracting venom for commercial purposes could primarily be to study how to end the menace of these bandits rampaging across the country since the Nigeria Police looks overwhelmed with the heighting internal insecurity which is their constitutional mandate.