A tale of 2 dogs; ‘Buhari’ and the Mayor of Cormorant

by Tolu’lope Omoyeni

Somewhere in the United States, in a small Minnesota town called Cormorant, a dog was reelected into the office of Mayor of Cormorant. Wowzers! 9 year old, Duke the Great Pyreness has earned the trust of the residents of the city and they have reelected him for his third term in office. Double wowzers! We are not sure about Mayor Duke’s standpoint on the social security system, the forthcoming presidential elections in the US and feminism, but we wish him a great time in office.

Meanwhile, over the seas and back home in Nigeria, a man has been put in prison for naming his dog after President Muhammadu Buhari. Mr Joe Chinakwe or Mr Joe Iroko (as there’s been conflicting information as regard’s the accused’s name) was arrested last Monday by the Nigeria Police after a neighbour filed a report against him.

While some of us thought it was just a few people clowning around, it was subsequently reported that Mr Joe had been arraigned in a magistrate court in Ota, Ogun state and yesterday, he was sent to prison until his bail requirement (N50,000) is met.

In the charge brought against him, Mr Joe was accused of writing the name, Buhari on the said dog and parading it in the Hausa section of a Sango market. Breach of peace, they called it. In contrary reports, the neighbour who made the report said Buhari is his father’s name and the accused ridiculed his father. All the allegations and counter-allegations make cool stories but is there sense in any of this? Let’s break it down.

Photos of Mr Joe Iroko, previously known as, Mr Joe Chinakwe (even the police is confused) has been on every news site for a week now but we are yet to see picture proof of the allegations made. This entire story revolves around a dog that was wrongly named by his owner but where is this dog? Was it presented in court as evidence of Mr Joe’s “criminal” act? My guess is no. So how have court proceedings continued without an evidence? So far no photos of dog Buhari have surfaced but the case has continued.

So we hear Mr Joe paraded the dog in a Muslim community in the Sango area with the aim of inciting hatred. What is the definition of a Muslim community? Are there rules on how to act in a Muslim community? Do we have Christian communities too? And how many people watched the “parade”? Making a case out of this seems rather more inciting than the act itself, if you ask us.

This case is the most solid proof, in recent times, that we do not yet have our priorities straight as a country. The Nigeria Police must have so much time on their hands that they now go after people for giving their pets whatever name they please. Where did our integrity go? The arrest and arraignment of Mr Joe Iroko Chinakwe does not serve the interest of Nigerians in any way. Not one arrest has been made since Fulani herdsmen started sacking villages and murdering people but an Inspector of Police is involved in the case of a man who gave his dog a rather popular name, Buhari.

While we are wasting government resources over a case as trivial as this, Mayor Duke the Great Pyrenees rules over the loyal people of Cormorant, Minnesota. One man’s meat is truly another’s poison.

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