The presidency has given reasons why pigeons released by President Muhammadu Buhari refused to fly during the Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
The doves, otherwise known as white pigeons, released by the President at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day ceremony last Friday, refused to fly despite multiple attempts by Buhari.
This elicited reactions from Nigerians, some of whom described the incident as a “bad sign”.
In an article on his Facebook Wall titled, ‘Reflection from a wreath-laying ceremony,’ Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, described the pigeons’ refusal to fly as “a natural phenomenon”.
He said, “Now, something for those who twist my every word, turn it upside down, to generate hatred. Something for them to wail about. The release of the pigeons.
“At every Armed Forces Remembrance Day, after the laying of the wreaths, the sitting President releases some pigeons, to symbolise peace in the land. Emblems of National harmony. It was not different last Friday.
“The pigeons had been kept in a cage. For how long, I do not know. And when birds and some other roaming animals have been circumscribed for a while, they get accustomed to their new status as lawful captives. Therefore, when you offer them freedom, they first baulk, thinking it’s too good to be true. It’s a natural phenomenon.
“President Buhari opened the cage that held the pigeons, about a score or so. One hesitated, then flew, followed by another. The others temporised a bit. And then, two, three minutes later, they all took to the sky. Nothing extraordinary in the development, you would think.”
The president’s aide also faulted Nigerians for describing the refusal of the birds to fly as a “bad sign”, urging them to do something productive with their time.
He said, “But not to the idle and indolent, most of who populate the social media. It was time to major in something minor, cavil, find fault unnecessarily.
“The pigeons didn’t fly, they refused to fly, it’s ominous, they wailed like wailing wailers. And you began to wonder: are people this idle?
“Don’t they have productive things to do with their times? Are their minds so addled, and all they want to do is find faults against their President, ascribing spiritual connotations to a non-issue?
“For their information: Muhammadu Buhari has no time for such frivolities. He just continues to serve the country with his heart and mind, trying to make a difference in security, economy, and anti-corruption. And he will get there, by the grace of God. But if they don’t change, the wailers will be losers, standing small.”