The Guardian
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Help, Junks On Our Streets


Petlife-(Mongorel)-8-8-15-CopyI WAS telling a Lebanese national why I could not get a certain medication into the country. And till today, the reply I got has continued to exert a chilling effect on my psyche, as a Nigerian, each time I am confronted with our usual system, collapse occasioned by our collective conscience denigration and the way we do things around here.

He said the reason I could not get the drug was because I was not rightly connected and that every Nigerian, including our President, has a price.

He told me that you only needed to strike the right chord and the Nigerian will sprawl in pity before you for anything.

I felt terribly insulted, humiliated and reduced, as a Nigerian, and told the man so.

He apologised very profusely, but left with these words, which I had kept inside of me since then.

“Doctor, you will realise what I told you as you grow in your profession and life generally.

“Don’t get me wrong; I love your country.”

Now, many years after, I am beginning to appreciate that those rude words delivered with reckless abandon on that very sunny afternoon are actually immortal words.

The knock strikes my head and my heart always leaps out of my chest each time I have had to ask myself why things are not done properly in this country. Why we never follow rules around here?

There is a very disturbing thing happening in the pet industry currently that has made me to remember the words of that alien, who knew our country so well.

Do you know that I have had to ponder whether I could just go to the streets of Ajegunle, Mushin or Rumuigbo, pick all our local dogs, certification or not, vaccination or not, get them on a plane and fly them to South Africa, brand them one fancy name, appoint agents and start selling them at exorbitant prices?

That is exactly what Nigerians are doing in South Africa. Because anything goes in Nigeria, it has become all too easy to bring all sorts of creatures that resemble dogs to Nigeria and brand them very fanciful names, like South African Boerboel, Rottweilers, Alsatians, etc, exploiting the naivety of countless Nigerians.

A few weeks ago, somebody brought some 10 puppies to my facility and with all my experience, I could not decipher what sorts of breeds they belong to.

But he had his papers from South Africa proclaiming these dogs to be Rottweilers and Labradors.

I could swear that these puppies were everything, but what they were brandished as.

The irony of everything is that a lot of these dog merchants are currently smiling to the banks from both ends of the business, that is, in South Africa and Nigeria, milking the poor masses.

Recently, one of the reputable breeders in South Africa wrote a friend of mine and asked how it was possible for Nigeria to accept all the rejected dogs in their system.

He had wondered why there was no standard in Nigeria. In fact, it has become a popular joke in South Africa among breeders that Nigeria had all their bad dogs, to the extent that they don’t have to cull any longer-culling to them, is sending the bad dog to Nigeria, where there are willing agents who would readily vend the dogs.

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