Monday, 26 January 2009

Nigeria: Catch that goat

The police thing

I should have ignored this piece of news and it should have been stuff for the silly season if it were not that serious.

One of the reasons why I have not visited Nigeria for about 20 years stems from the impression I have of law enforcement agencies and their inability to tackle issues with any sense of objectivity.

Beyond that, they can be used by nefarious but powerful people as tools of oppression and menace where the notion of the presumption of innocence is based on differing aspects of being the first to contact the police, being the plaintiff or having a status in society regardless of the innocence of other parties.

I have many times been a victim of police unreasonableness and their corrupt ways – this however is not just particular to Nigeria but everywhere else because I have been schooled to believe that a career in the police force is that last ditch attempt to make something of a life without purpose - there are a few exceptions.

Catch the goat

It is fearful to read that a goat has now been arrested [1] as a suspect to a car theft. The vigilante group that handed the goat to the police believe that the thief shape-shifted from human-being to goat to avoid capture.

This stretches the limits of incredulity but ignorance is rife in the police force much as it is representative of a society hamstrung in superstition and held back by bizarre belief systems that have not been eliminated by the presence of foreign religions that were supposed to free us from savage and animist beliefs.

The amalgam of these fears and faiths simply creates a society that suspends every opportunity to use their God-given brains and intellect to reason and logically examine the evidence before their eyes.

Between the fact and the illusion

As for the goat, one would presume the shape shifter cannot retain that transmogrification for longer than a particular period of time before reverting to form.

But really, if anyone could shape shift into anything, where did the vigilante mob get the boldness to approach that goat that could have shape shifted into something even more menacing?

Where an armed robber has turned into a goat, it would be interesting to find the clothes that fell off the goat, the weapons that would have transferred from hands to hooves and every logically piece of evidence necessary for a thorough police investigation of a crime.

Some observers from afar might wonder if my people have not been seeing things, but I would wager that probably one person just thought up this sensational nonsense and the generally gullible crowd lapped it up and believed they had a truth, helping to give credence to a stupid idea.

Shape shifting myths

That is not to say that shape shifting [2] does not exist in its varied forms from myths to depictions in films like Maya in Space 1999 [3], and there are pretend princesses all about the place kissing frogs looking for princes – but really, if a car thief could change into a goat he should be able to raise a whirlwind to scare off anyone trying to capture him.

The poor goat may just have been a stray goat that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and beyond the mug-shots of the goat, one can only wonder if a goat lawyer is representing it in court because even a goat is too domesticated to be subjected to jungle justice in a kangaroo court.

Somebody must be having my goat – Really!

Sources

[1] BBC NEWS | Africa | Nigeria police hold 'robber' goat

[2] Shapeshifting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[3] Maya (Space: 1999) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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