Understanding Nigeria: You Have Two Cows

By Tolu Ogunlesi

(Originally written and published in October 2010)


You have two cows. No, you had two cows – until both were kidnapped. The kidnappers demand a ransom of five billion naira. You wait patiently for the kidnappers to come down to N5,000. Two weeks later they do. You blame the police for not protecting your cows.


You have two cows. One of them gets the contract to supply milk to the Presidential kitchen. It pays Julius Berger to create a machine that doubles its milk production, then goes ahead to sell the milk to the Federal Government as imported milk. The other cow petitions the EFCC.


You have two cows. Both are wanted by NAFDAC for producing fake and adulterated milk.


You have two cows. Both of them belong to a religious sect and have an aversion for western-style milking, so you are forced to milk them by hand. When you sell their milk to non-members of their sect they start a riot.


You have two cows. You are proud to hear the President call them “my cows”. You name one of them ‘Jomo Gbomo’, and teach it to use the internet. You name the other ‘General Slow Poison’ and convince it that surrendering toy guns to the government will bring far more money than producing milk.


You have two cows. Both have been charged to court for running a calf trafficking and milking ring in Lagos. 


You have two cows. Both are grateful they are not dogs. One of them informs you it is relocating to Bakassi, and has applied for a Cameroonian passport. Distressed by the impending loss of half of the revenue from your milk business, you call the Governor and ask if the remaining cow can be appointed Official Mascot for the Calabar Carnival.


You had two cows. You slaughtered one to celebrate James Ibori’s last court victory. The other one will be slaughtered after Ibori’s next court victory.


You have two cows, but they live in Italy, from where they faithfully send a portion of their milk home.


You have two cows. Both prefer being read to to being milked. One of them is currently supervising the doctoral dissertation of the other – A Comparative Study of Institutional Corruption in Shitless Chicken Farms in Ekiti State, and Implications for Animal Husbandry in the 21st Century


You have two cows. Both have given up milk-making, and are now kidnappers. You blame the banks in Lagos for causing the crash in the price of milk, thus forcing your cows to resort to kidnapping.


You have two cows. You exempt them from milk-making and appoint them to the Panel you set up to examine the immediate and remote causes of street-begging by calves – when they should be in school learning how to produce milk.  


You have two cows. At least that’s what you think until it dawns on you that it is the cows – who it turns out actually have Zimbabwean passports – who actually own you.


You have two cows. Both have appeared on the BBC so often they are now celebrities, and no longer need to produce milk. As a reward for learning how to chant “A-cow o ni baje!” you offer them employment in LASTMA and give them plots of swamp in Lekki Phase 4.


You have two cows. Each one is a member of at least three political parties. Each one wants to be an Only Cow. As a first step in adjudicating the matter you give them a quiz: “11 minus 2 divided by 15 plus 100billion is equal to: …”


You have two cows. You name one of them Mike Tyson, and force it to vote fifteen times for the PDP in the governorship elections. The other defects to the Labour Party, where it becomes a hoof-print expert. 


You have two cows. With UNESCO’s assistance you proclaim them sacred and invite black people from all over the world to worship them. 


You have two cows. One is from Ibadan; the other is not, which explains why they are always fighting. Both however agree on ONE thing: the need to stop Osun’s cows from grazing on Oyo land.


You have two cows. Shell offers to help you take care of them. Later you realise that the cows are producing crude oil, not milk. You protest, and insist on taking your cows back. Shell refuses, but compensates you instead with a primary school.


You have two cows. One of them has been found guilty of producing alcoholic milk, and has had a hoof amputated. There are rumours that the other is having sex with a calf, but no one really cares. All animals are equal, but…


8 thoughts on “Understanding Nigeria: You Have Two Cows

  1. Pingback: Understanding Nigeria: You have two cows – Shelby Grossman

  2. This is a brilliant two cows tale. It is quite funny and shameful to talk about the current state issue of our beloved nation.

  3. Plateau
    You have two cows, you live them to graze your abundant grass land while you drink your burukutu. You neighbor takes it upon himself to watch over your cows, got some bulls to mate your cows and bred a lot of calves and decided to takeover not just your cows but the land on which they graze.

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