Published On: Tue, Sep 5th, 2017

Lion King and the mischief of Rattus rattus, by Sesan Johnson

Buhari

Professor Piggy, you said from the ancient times that the different types of government systems in the world included feudalism, autocracy, constitutional monarchy, monarchy, democracy, and others. But, what type of government is ours? Oh! Oh! I see, I think its constitutional monarchy or democratic monarchy? How do you mean, professor?

Don’t you see that our leader has taken a new title: ‘The Lion King’? Just like Napoleon Bonaparte of France who metamorphosed into an Emperor in 1804, the very year the revolution of Fodio transformed the northern fringes of our world. Well, my student, that is why our virtual space is being bombarded by trending, tweets such as ‘Welcoming the Lion King back to the palace.’ Theoretically, ours is a democracy and a federal system. Surely, each category of animals has its leader. For instance, in a parade of elephants, you will find a leader. Even, in a colony of lizards, you find a leader. However, all these leaders submitted their hegemony to the central leadership of the Lion King premised on a federation paradigm in order for us to attain harmony and progress in our cosmos. Nonetheless, in practice, there have been redefinitions of this federating template depending on who mounts the exalted throne at the centre.

We are allowed to whisper truths to power. In other words, political discourse is expected to take place in public spaces. So, you should not be surprised by the political narratives and metaphorical exchanges between political gladiators including some kith and kin of the king. Has our leader been called a Lion King before now? If yes why? If no, why is our leader now called a Lion King? Is our leader manifesting attributes of a lion or a Lion King? Is he ruling as a king and as a lion? What are the manifest characterisations of a king and/or of a lion? Since, the Lion King itself has not refuted this nomenclature, one can indeed assume that he’s indeed a Lion King.

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By the way, Professor Piggy, who caused the sickness of the Lion King? Was it orchestrated by the crackle of hyenas and the jackals? Or is it an act of God? No doubt, there have been different hypotheses and postulations. Who knows? Only God knows. May be it is known by the Lion King, his doctors, or his inner caucus.

Now, let’s get back to the rifts and drifts that may occur (or that might have occurred) between the Lion and the gang of hyenas/jackals. What could be responsible for the rifts between them? Is it that the Lion King made a ‘kill’ perhaps through his victory in the last general elections and subsequently through the way he is governing the kingdom particularly how he’s curbing the snatching and hoarding of meat by the jackals and the hyenas! Perhaps, this ‘kill’ is too huge for him to eat alone or he’s too old or too weak to eat alone; hence, the attraction of the band of hyenas and jackals. But professor, I think that is a natural phenomenon in our world.

Hmmm, you are right!

For a Lion King to be wounded probably from the attacks on him by the gang of hyenas and jackals shows he’s no longer in charge of his kingdom. Perhaps, the Lion King is a ‘Lone Ranger.’

Where were the other lions when the king of their pride was being wounded or attacked? Did he chase them out of the kingdom? Why is the Lion King alone? Evidently, a lion standing alone cannot face a gang of hungry hyenas and jackals. It is precarious, I must say.

But professor Piggy, the Lion King had survived and returned just as we had prayed. Yeah, can’t you see the animation of our kingdom on the day of his return? I agree with the deputy Lion King that the recovery of the king symbolises our breakthrough from this burgeoning deprivation. Professor Piggy, can I ask one silly question?

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Go ahead, that is why you are my student!

Is the deputy Lion King who ruled on behalf of the Lion King while he was away, a pure lion or a hyena or a jackal or one of the weak animals that prayed for the return of the Lion King?

Well, as a professor, I need to do a scientific research on that before I can lucidly answer your question.

But!

But what? Can a Lion King who found it difficult to attack or defeat the hyenas or the jackals when he was strong now do anything tangible when he’s already weak, old and wounded?

While the Lion King was away in another jungle, someone asked, what can the weak animals do to curb or arrest the gang of hyenas and jackals even before the arrival of the Lion King? The throne must be protected. The current security at the palace can no longer be trusted. Will the weak animals be allowed to get to the palace?

However, it is surprising that the weak animals decided to send their representatives, a mischievous band of Rattus rattus, to protect the throne. A band of Rattus Rattus? Yes, that is the scientific name for rats. But, why this mischief by rats? But, professor Piggy, why did they send these weak and very small animals?

 

They are the geniuses among the weak animals that could break through the maximum security mounted at the palace of the Lion King. Rats have the following characteristics: creativity, intelligence, honesty, generosity, ambition, appeal, sociability, influence, intellect, thrift and charisma. Rats go the whole-hog for what they are after and they never give up.

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So, they are go-getters. But, the news filtering into the air has it that the rats had destroyed the throne which culminated in the temporary re-location of the Lion King from the palace. Well, naturally rats also have the following characteristics: anxiety, verbosity, thirsts for power, guile, and acquisitiveness. Rats love to meddle in someone else’s affairs. Love to hijack or usurp power subtly. They are also collectors and hoarders of collective resources. Having seen the luxury of the palace, the rats also decided to taste or loot some too. But that is not their assignment.

Yes, that is the major problem of representatives; they always forget their primary assignments. But rats are not only stashers of food; they have a well-developed sense of economy. So you mean, the looting of the throne is for the development or the restructuring of the economy to favour the weak animals? Well, only time will tell. Also, I agree with the need to refurbish the palace because rats are also known to spread diseases, hence, we cannot afford the infection of the king again. Or do you want the king to go on another long trip?

Professor Piggy, the Lion King is shutting down our virtual world. No, he only ordered its monitoring and a check on those crossing the ‘national red lines’ because we do not want to see the ‘reds’ on our streets. Having said that, in the real sense of it and even metaphorically, it is precarious to stay around a lion or a Lion King, except you belong to a higher cat family like tigers, hyenas, jackals and others. Therefore, the weak animals must be very careful, even as the Lion King returned.

  • Johnson is a historian and researcher.

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