"Pigeons did not fly🕊️" By Chief Ojukwu

December 2004 I travelled home for Christmas. A day before I would return to base in the north, I went to Umudike to see some friends & didn't get back to the house until a little past midnight. By early morning, I was up & ready to leave. As I
2. tried opening my car where it was parked, I noticed blood on the grill. While observing & wondering how it got there, my grandmother came in & saw the blood. That was when all hell let loose! She screamed & said 'they want to kill her grandson!' Mama what are you on
3. about & who wants to kill me? She said the blood on my grill was a bad omen, that it was conjured. With the noise she was making, it was only a matter of time for my parents to come from their own side of the compound. Dad asked me what the matter was & I told him to ask his
4. mother (Don't stress me with some mumbo jumbo 🤣). Granny insisted that someone should go call the local juju man to come do some incantation before I embark on the journey. Dad said 'hell no! I will shoot him if he enters this compound!' Ah Ah! I was out last night, I most
5. likely hit some small bush animal. Obviously something small that I didn't feel the impact. My dad called one of my cousin's to get a bucket of water & washed the grill. Minutes later, I had hit the highway. By evening I had arrived my destination after over 10hrs of driving.
6. I called my dad to tell him I had arrived & he asked 'did you see any demon or have an accident on the way?' I laughed at his sarcastic question.

Sometime in 1996 during the military era, a crisis broke out in Owerri Imo State; The Otokoto riots. It was caused when a head
7. of a little boy (Ikechukwu Okoronkwo) was found in the possession of a man (Innocent Ekeanyawu). Turns out the man peddles in human parts for rituals & had quite a list of clients. The young boy was killed & after being dismembered, body was buried at the okotoko hotel. When
8. the news broke out, an irate mob went to the hotel & set the place on fire. As names of clients linked with the human parts peddler was leaked to the public, people started looking for their properties & setting them on fire. Few days of rioting, the military administrator at
9. the time; Col. Tanko Zubairu & the brigade commander Col. Omofuma ordered troops out to quell the riots. Everything was brought under control until something sinister at the time but funny & crazy if you think of it now happened. A story broke of how someone saw a snake
10. swallowing another snake! In Igbo language it translates thus 'Agwo loro ibe ya.' Amongst the Igbos it is said that a snake swallowing another snake is a taboo. Next thing you know a crowd had gathered! The Imo broadcasting corporation (IBC) at the time sent their journalists
11. to cover it & minutes later it was on the news! The conspiracy theories began; clergies said it was a sign God was angry with the state! Traditionalists said the land was cursed! Everyone agreed it was an omen due to the death of the young boy killed for rituals & other
12. killings happening in the land. By the next day people reading at vendor stands gathered themselves into mobs & another round of riots/burnings started! Rioters only had to look at your house, once they see it is tastefully built, you must be into rituals! Residential houses,
13, super markets (the biggest supermarket in the city was burnt), cars (as long as it's a new model car, it must belong to ritual doer) etc were burnt! People started pointing houses of their enemies & claiming they were into rituals, properties worth billions at the time lost.
14. Electronic stores weren't spared! At the time, only a few had satellite TV so many weren't watching natgeo wild/animal planet to learn of Ophiophagy which is the behaviour of snakes preying on each other. As long as their pastors & elders had told them it was an omen, thatImageImageImage
15. was enough to go on rampage burning down houses & properties.

We are here in 2021 & our latest sensation is 'Pigeons didn't fly'. It is quite disturbing that amongst those pushing this childishness is @obyezeks a chartered accountant by profession, two times minister of the
16. federation, one time VP of the world bank, educated in Unilag, Kennedy school, Harvard plus scores of honorary degrees! One would think that with all these degrees, exposure & the fact she is a pastor (or the husband), she would know that 'homed pigeons' don't always fly!
17. I bred pigeons as a child; I would feed them with different grains including Guinea corn, millet, rice, even garri. It takes about 4 weeks to home a pigeon after it's been defeathered; you house them in cages, feed them & give them water. At about the 4th to 5th week, their
18. A few things would have happened; their feathers grown back, partnered with a mate & most likely nested. When these are observed, I start adding sugar to their drinking troughs. The idea is to get the sugar granules to stick to their beaks & possibly feathers. After these
19. are done, they are coerced to fly out. When they fly off, they most times come in contact with other pigeons. Pigeons in groups groom each other, in the process the wild pigeons get the taste of sugar on your homed pigeon & most times will follow them everywhere they go.
20. Since your birds are homed, they will after a few minutes/hours want to return to the coop at your place. They 70% of the time return with the wild pigeons who are drawn to the sugar & boom; you have new pigeons (stealing I guess). You repeat the same process with the new
21. wild pigeons. These pigeons get so comfortable in captivity that it most times takes an effort to force them to fly off!

Armed forces rememberance day is held every Jan 15 at all the military cenotaphs located in each state of the federation. If birds don't fly at the eagle
22. square, they will fly in Kogi. If they don't fly in Ogun, they will fly at the event in Rivers State. If they didn't fly 2021, they flew in 2020! Are we then saying 2020 was the perfect year?

2020 award for stupidity went to 'His last words were, peace & unity..'.
23. 'Pigeons didn't fly' will surely get a nomination for stupidity of the year award 2021.

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