By Prince Charles Dickson


“What food might this contain?” The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.


Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”


The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”


The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”


The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it.”


The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”


So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap…alone.


That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.


The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it. It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer’s wife.


The farmer rushed her to the hospital. When she returned home she still had a fever.


Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient. But his wife’s sickness continued.


Friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.


But, alas, the farmer’s wife did not get well…she died. So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.


And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.


The Igbos say onye aghana nwanne ya meaning your neighbour’s challenge should be of some concern to you!


The Zulu’s puts it in this way, “Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu”: “A person is a person because of people.” Other translations state “a person is a person through other persons.” In either case, this compelling truth about what it means to be a “human” in the Afrikan context reveals the wisdom of our ancestors and the tremendous beauty of our way.


In a word it is the spirit of Ubuntu. Ubuntu: the spirit of reciprocal living that luminously envelops a community in healing energy radiating from the hearts of interdependent human spirits sharing, and loving.


Archibishop Desmond Tutu further explained Ubuntu as the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.


How will Patience Jonathan feel if either of her kids, relatives lost a leg or limb in Madalla, how would she feel if she lost an in-law was killed in Kano, would it make more sense if any occupant in Aso Rock on assignment to Yola was butchered?


Do our leaders behave like the chicken, like the pig, like the cow, after all they all have security votes, and they can afford to ride in bullet proof vehicles purchased at the taxpayers’ expense.


Is there any semblance of Ubuntu in the elite we call leaders, they are well versed in condolence visits and messages, experts in on-the-spot assessment, but they do very little to prevent the avoidable.


In recent times we have had the Solomon Lar panel, Shiekh Lemu commission, and specific ones for Kaduna, and Borno, but even when they are made public, there is no effort or will in putting the recommendations or findings to work.


No one cares up there, just rhetoric…Its either they are on top of it and the killings take place under, or they are bringing it under control after it has happened. Will we witness a difference in approach if the Senate President is kidnapped of governor attacked and killed?


Already the feeling for Boko Haram is deadly divided regarding their targets, many are now saying leave the poor masses and attack the ruling class. No one is being brought to book; no one is facing the wrath of the law.


According to an NTA report monitored by, they called the Bayelsa Explosion in Tombia dynamites, not bombs; my humble question, if the president’s uncle was blown to shreds by it, would it have mattered if it was a bomb or dynamites.


The conspiracy theorists are spinning the theories in their dozens, when it capitulates, it will touch all of us. We need each other, we either retrace our steps now or it may be too late, the occupy Nigeria dance was just a tip.


Our leaders need us to lead, rule or govern, even the monies they steal, they still need us to impress, to suppress, and they cannot be in isolation. They can’t be human all by themselves, and the earlier they see the mousetrap the better, sooner or later, the bomb may not just be an ordinary citizen, time will tell.



The Concerns of a rat was told me by ‘Dozie Kaidi Obiaku

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