Once upon a time, a hyena entered some village and stole sheep. When the people of the village heard about the theft, all villagers were summoned to hunt down the hyena.
When the hyena learnt of the hunt and the plot to kill him, he ran out of the village even as the people and all their dogs run after him.
Some distance from the village, the hyena saw the home of a woman, whom he begged to hide him from the mob that was in hot pursuit. He lied to the woman that the mob wanted to kill him for nothing, under false allegations that he had eaten their sheep. Pleading with the woman, the hyena promised that if only the woman would hide him, he would give her a sheep. Overwhelmed by greed, the woman agreed to hide him under her bed.
Just then, the crowd arrived at the woman’s hut and asked her whether she had seen a hyena that had eaten their sheep, and had come her way. The woman said she had not seen the hyena. They insisted that the hyena had come her way. She stood firm.
When she insisted she hadn’t seen the hyena, the people proceeded elsewhere with their search, to the great relief of the woman.
When the crowd left, the hyena came from its hiding place and profusely thanked the woman for agreeing to hide him. However, the woman was not thinking about the hyena’s gratitude. She wanted to ask when she would get the sheep he had promised her. But before she could do so the hyena said he had not eaten for a long time and needed to eat her. The woman was shocked and begged the hyena not to eat her. The hyena did not listen to her and immediately jumped at her with the intention of eating her. The woman grabbed the hyena’s front legs while screaming and begging for help.
Fortunately, the crowd that the woman cheated had not gone too far and heard her screams. They rushed back and found her wrestling the hyena, who had already injured her badly.
The woman confessed that this was the same hyena that they were looking for. Shocked, the crowd asked again whether this hyena was the same the woman said she had not seen. She said yes. Her generosity notwithstanding, the woman did not expect the hyena she had saved and had promised her a sheep could plan and plot to kill her.
Angry at both, the people allowed the hyena to eat the woman and then killed the hyena. But the hyena was not alone in betraying persons who had saved him. Nor was the woman alone in hiding enemies of the people for personal gain.
When leaders from our community steal votes or rig elections, we hide or defend them by denying their rigging, the way the woman defended the hyena in the mistaken belief that if we save them from the danger of prosecution, we might get some benefits from their evil leadership. When we defend the corruption of our ethnic leaders because we believe that we might derive some benefits from that leadership — when in reality we don’t, again, like the woman — we shall be hiding the hyena of graft under our beds until the hyena threatens to eat us up.
When leaders steal leadership and then blame the Supreme Court for exposing and taking that leadership back from them and we go ahead and defend them, we are no different from the woman who protected the hyena that had stolen the people’s sheep.
The hyenas among us are as many as we hide and protect. There are hyenas that steal power. There are hyenas that eat and protect corruption. There are those that reap from and protect negative ethnicity. There are those that benefit and profit from killing people. But when we hide them because they promise us sheep, we must know that it is us they will come for tomorrow.
Our worst enemies are hyenas that steal from the people, persons who hide hyenas from prosecution and the greed of people who support hyenas that promise them something in return.
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