Once Upon a Lion of Ubima


By Bruno Emenike

Two examples suffice to explain the decline in the character of some individuals. One is situated in Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. The other is in the nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty.

For those given to Darwin’s theory, man evolved from Australopithecines which looked more like primates. Though the features of this species are akin to that of man, they are not man. It is in this regard it should be understood why the cliché, that you can bring a man to the city but you cannot take the bush out him, was born.

Over the course of the last few years and in particular the weeks leading to the March 19 rerun election in Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Minister of Transportation, went berserk on national television stations swearing, cursing and indulging in ghetto talk against Rivers State elected officials.
Full of boast and the ‘overwhelming’ powers of the federal government which will be brought to bear on the polls, Amaechi forgot to heed the eternal Biblical truth that, “the humble have I exalted but the proud will I cast down in the imagination of their hearts.”

He failed to realize that he had become a prodigal in need of repentance and forgiveness. He failed to realize that the momentum had long gone from him. Amaechi failed to realize that pride goes before a fall. Amaechi failed to realize that the will of the people was more than a million bayonets.
Amaechi should have known that there is limit to brute force when a people are pushed against the wall, they cooperate as a pack, and together they are smarter and more persistent than their oppressors. So it’s sometimes better to be smart and cooperative than it is to be strong! He forgot his history lessons on the French Revolution; he lost touch on the American War of Independence.
In short, he failed to realize that his cup had run full circle and that his story will be told by the fireplace to children, ‘once upon a time, time. There was a Lion of Ubima.’
And the story was told in the votes of the people. While Amaechi invaded the peace of Rivers State, the people showed a remarkable resistance like the Poles against Hitler’s mighty army.

As the results tumbled in, it was obvious that the strength of the mighty army was no match for the resistance of the Rivers people; the people had resisted the invaders, those who had come once again to pillage their patrimony like they had done over the years. Governor Nyesom Wike could not have put it more aptly when he said: “Amaechi plot to rig the rerun elections was for him to rubbish the Supreme Court Judgement. He came back to the state noisily, but left quietly and shamefully.

“No Army is stronger than the people. No police is stronger than our people. How many times will they cancel elections for the APC? Amaechi is not on ground in Rivers State.”
In the other explanation which is exemplified in Anthropomorphism, closely related to evolution, the fable of the Lion of Ubima is succinctly told in the rhyme of Humpty Dumpty.

For those who may not know, Humpty Dumpty is not just any rhyme but an anthropomorphic motif that sheds light on the myth of the Lion of Ubima. The people of the state have asked their former governor through the Justice George Omereji Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the activities of the Rotimi Amaechi administration to come and give account of his stewardship, but Amaechi has declined, and has sought refuge in the very courts he holds to scorn.

But like it is said in all things there is a season. For now, it is the season of the story of a man who thought he is a lion but now has come to know that the process of his evolution was incomplete.
––Emenike wrote in through brunoemenike@gmail.com