2015: The pregnant deer parable


A few years ago, there was a lot of hoopla when some United States-based analysts predicted that the year 2015 would mark the end of Nigeria’s corporate existence. Though the so-called report was not affiliated with the US Government, the prediction has often been made to taunt the country by Nigerians themselves.

The socio-political reality of the post-Obasanjo era has also added more verve to the scaremongering. Local prophets of doom have caught the frenzy with their Apocalyptic analyses of what awaits the nation courtesy of this year’s general elections. Apart from the inanities of character assassination and desperation-induced mudslinging by the political class, the most recent and trenchant of that negative narrative was that of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, in his letter of December 16, 2014.

In the letter to the two leading Presidential candidates in next month’s elections, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Akinyemi averred that “the certainty of violence after the 2015 elections is higher than it was in 2011” and that “the violence of 2015 is going to be horrendous and worse than the one of 2011”.

Now that the year 2015 is here with many things happening simultaneously as to make one breathless, my belief is that the 2015 will pass away like many years before it and Nigeria will remain intact. Nigeria will not collapse just because of anybody’s political ambition whether in the ruling or opposition party.

Of course, after the elections, stakeholders will gyrate, losers will vibrate and winners will jubilate. What is most crucial is for Nigerians to focus on the main business at hand which is to participate fully in the elections by voting and ensuring that their votes count.

If we are focused, Nigeria is just like the pregnant deer, the story and lesson of which I found somewhere and edited as follows:

In a remote forest, a pregnant deer was about to give birth to a new life. It found a remote field near a river and slowly went there thinking it would be safe. As she moved slowly, she felt labour pains… and at the same moment, dark clouds gathered around the area as lightening started a forest fire. Turning left, she saw a hunter who was aiming an arrow at her from a distance. As she tried to move towards her right, she spotted a hungry lion approaching her.

What should the pregnant deer do when she was already under intense labour pains? Would the deer survive? Would it give birth to a calf? Would the calf survive? Or would everything be consumed by the forest fire?

Could the deer go left? The hunter’s arrow was already aimed at her! Could she go right? The hungry lion was already approaching! Could she move up? There ahead was the forest fire! Could she move down? There was the fierce and deep river!

In reality, our dear deer there did nothing. She just focused on giving birth to a new life. The sequence of events that happened at that moment is as follows:

In a fraction of a second, a lightning struck (it was already cloudy) and blinded the eyes of the hunter. At that moment, he released the arrow missing and zipping past the deer, fatally hitting the approaching lion in its very heart. At that moment, it started to rain and the rain extinguished the raging forest fire. At the next moment, the deer gave birth to a healthy calf.

In our life, as a country, it is our moment of choice and we all have to deal with negative thoughts from all sides always. Some thoughts are so powerful they overpower us and make us clueless. Let us not decide anything in a hurry. Let us think of ourselves as the focused pregnant deer with the ultimate happy ending. Anything can happen in a MOMENT in this life.

If you are religious, superstitious, atheistic, agnostic or whatever, you can attribute this MOMENT as sublime, divine intervention, faith, sudden luck, serendipity (chance), coincidence or a simple “don’t know”. We all feel the same. But whatever one may call it, the priority of the deer in that given moment was to give birth to a baby because life is precious. The focus was on what was at hand: giving birth.

Hence, whether you are a deer or a human, keep that faith and hope within you always. Technically, it is said that our life can be defined as a “Stochastic Probability Theory” where the outcomes of our moments are non-deterministic as future events are determined by random probability distributions that cannot be predicted.”

So, Nigeria will give birth safely and all the fears and foreseen challenges would not come to threaten the corporate existence of the nation. Nigeria will survive the elections, especially if all hands are on deck to ensure the will of the electorate counts. Let us focus on giving birth and ignore distractions.

Too late, too little

President Goodluck Jonathan last week visited the epicenter of the insurgency and capital of Borno State, Maiduguri. The attitude of Nigerians to the surprise visit was captured by several headlines which reminded the reading public that the visit took place 275 days after the abduction of the Chibok girls.

One wonders what the visit was meant to achieve at this time because it was just too late. It was the opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), among several groups of Nigerians, that deemed it fit to congratulate the President, though in a sarcastic way. The party charged the President to make more visits to Chibok, Buni Yadi and Potiskum, among other hotbeds of the insurgency.

Rather than drawing goodwill, the visit eventually was a public relations disaster. That the President made no reference to the missing Chibok girls drew the ire of many, including the leaders of Chibok community, who alleged that the Federal Government had forgotten their plight. Too late!

Then, another surprise move of the Federal Government was the reduction of the price of the premium motor spirit (pms) by ten naira at the beginning of this week. Rather than be happy, many Nigerians consider the gesture to be too little.

The arithmetic is that the announced reduction is not commensurate with the reality on ground. The argument being put forward is that if Nigerians bought fuel for N97 when the price of the product was N119 per barrel, they should be buying it for N27, given the current price of the product per barrel! Some cynical Nigerians even say because they said they want change, the President decided to give them ten naira change, which of course is considered too little.


My sincere apologies go to the readers for the break in the transmission of “Renaissance” for the past three weeks. As the cliché goes, it was due to circumstances beyond my control. Happy 2015!