President George Weah of Liberia has been forced out of his office and made to work from his private residence by snakes.
According to the press secretary Smith Toby, two black snakes were found on Wednesday in the foreign affairs ministry building, where the official office of President Weah is located. The presence of the snakes has led the government to ask all staff of the ministry not to come to the office until 22 April.
It must be recalled that the President’s office had been shifted to the Ministry of foreign affairs, following the fire outbreak in 2006 in the presidential village, which is located near the Foreign affairs ministry.
All efforts made by the staff of the ministry as well as the office of the President to kill the snakes were futile, as the snakes, which were believed to have entered the office through a hole, managed to escape. Some Liberians have pointed an accusing finger on “corrupted” government officials, whom many accuse of embezzlement of fund meant for the ministries. Lack of maintenance of infrastructures has made many buildings to be in a dilapidated and miserably shabby state.
“That building’s been there for years now, and [because of] the drainage system, the possibility of having things like snakes crawling in that building was high.” Mr Toby explained.
The press secretary intimated that the ministry has commenced on Friday with fumigation of the whole ministry, in the hope of killing the snake and other dangerous and unwanted creatures.
President George Weah is not the only African leader that fled the office due to the presence of animals. In 2017, back from his over a 100 day medical trip to London, the United Kingdom, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria was forced to vacate his Presidential office and work from his residential home as a result of the rat invasion of his office. It took the President about 81 days before he could return to his official office.
It takes perhaps over 81 days or more to finally eliminate the invaded battalion of rats. Of course, it would have been un-Nigerian if it had taken fewer days for such a combatant assignment, wouldn’t it?
While the staff of Liberia’s ministry of foreign affairs was asked to resume work after 22 April, less than 1 week after the appearance of the snakes, it is left for one to see if the ministry will keep to the date and their promise, for that matter. If they do, then maybe, Liberians, who criticise and blamed their alleged corrupted government for the snake invasion, might as well, find some consolation that the fumigation did not take ages to complete. If, however, the staff has to wait longer than promised before they could go back to work, then it would not be entirely wrong to say that Liberians are quickly learning fast from their big brothers.
It took Sudanese months of peaceful protest to get the once-feared dictator ex-President Omar al-Bashir and his cronies to listen to the wishes of his people. Sometimes, protests and unnecessary killing of innocent protesters are not necessary for the African political arena, if one wants their leaders to do the wishes of their subjects. Like a child who saw a fearful masquerade, it seems African leaders fear and respond to the challenges from animals quicker than to the pleadings of their subjects. Perhaps, Africans have lately discovered the fastest way or the best trick to rattle their leaders into fear and submission. Call it the animal invasion or fear if you like.