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Nigerians react as pigeons released by Buhari refuse to fly at Armed Forces Remembrance event [VIDEO]



A mild drama played out on Nigeria’s 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day when the white pigeons released by President Muhammadu Buhari refused to fly.

In a video currently trending on social media, President Buhari was seen trying to force the birds to fly after releasing them from a white cage holding them.

The President had opened the birdcage at the National Arcade, picked up one of the doves, and thrown it into the air but the bird landed atop the cage and refused to fly.

Buhari, who was eager to let the white pigeons fly, opened the roof of the cage in a bid to send them all out but the birds remained adamant and decided to sit on top of the cage’s roof.

The President, who appeared tired of trying, soon left the birds and returned to his seat. Moments after the President had left, however, some of the birds flew.

The ritual of releasing doves is to commemorate the life of a departed loved one and is common at significant events like funerals or memorials. It also signifies peace.

The President, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, amongst others, had converged on the Eagle Square in Abuja on Friday to honour the nation’s fallen heroes.

The anchor of the event which was aired on Channels TV had noted that, “They (were supposed to) fly high and show that our great nation Nigeria is in absolute harmony.”

But the birds’ refusal to fly quickly sparked reactions on social media, with many attributing it to the lack of peace, harmony and security in the country. Below are some of the reactions on Twitter:

@isiomanb: There’s no peace in Nigeria. There’s no progress being made. And there’s no harmony among us. So the pigeons refused to fly. Unbothered and unhinged, Buhari didn’t hesitate to leave the birds. Like he does with Nigeria and Nigerians. You won’t find a more iconic video

@edoyakulo: Hope the handlers of the pigeon won’t be accused of embarrassing the President by not supplying sycophant breeds?

@Levite321: Even birds are not happy with this oppressive regime. They have hurts everything, both the living and the dead.

@Adacampbell: Sometimes I feel bad for the president. Something always goes wrong. Why did the pigeons refuse to fly? Did they not feed them?

@sonubi_damilola: “Pigeons refused to follow back…. sorry fly…Even animals knows the situation of the country…There’s no peace in Nigeria” etc. We all know that this is the reality presently in the flag of Nigeria. The question we should ask is that do we have PVC to vote for the right candidate come 2023?

@SamuelOtigba: These pigeons reminds me of some Nigerians, no matter how much you show them the light, set them free on the right path, they will still return to their cage. They love their slave masters & don’t know what to do with freedom when they get it.

@ChrisListens2U: The pigeons didn’t fly because unlike humans animals don’t lie. Let’s tell ourselves the truth @MBuhari has grounded Nigeria and we are not flying. The pigeons show the true state of Nigeria. Let’s pray for Nigeria to fly again.

@Dolipeepe: When the pigeons have been kept over some days and have gotten used to being fed really well, how do you expect them to fly away when you open their cage? If those pigeons have not had anything to eat since yesterday, the natural instinct would have kicked in.

In 2014, the doves refused to fly when former President Goodluck Jonathan freed them. The Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka, described the incident at the time as a sign that God had abandoned Jonathan.