Nigeria is a country blessed with two major seasons, the Raining and Dry Seasons, the farmers are always a victim of these two seasons, they pray to their gods, even to the gods of their ancestors over the land, and in some areas they worship Ogun, the god of Iron to prevent any accident throughout the year for a bumptious harvest, it was the way, it was done for several decades of commitment to the Supreme God, which the Edo called Osanobua, the Igbo in the lower Niger called Chukwu and the Yoruba in the South West of Nigeria called the same Supreme being Olodunmare and those in Benin Republic called Nanabuluku.
It is not easy to be a farmer which is why most farmers often encourage their children to go to school for them to buy their tomorrow like Professor Soyinka said, “it is too late to secure yesterday, but if you hustle and work very hard, you can secure the future”, that was the dream of all the farmers in Nigeria and in most parts of the third world countries.
The biting sun is not friendly to their backs, the dues of the wet ground early in the morning is not a friend either to the feet, the several miles of walk to the farm and titling of the land, cleaning and using cutlass and hoes to make hips before planting Cassava the stable food, or Yam tuber the King of food or rice in some areas but cassava with its beautiful leaves always above the ground in most cases could be about five to six feet above the ground, the farmer could make a shelter of his efforts under them, waiting and hoping the cassava tuber will be big enough and profitable to meet with the needs of his family, these are not interesting activities.
However, everything for the farmer is based on hope and trust in the Supreme God, to bless the land, with rain and moderate sun, and his wife too will base her hope on the future of a fruitful harvest if the cassava is harvested, what would she do? Her market stall would be expanded, her husband promised to buy her the yearly dress that will make her an envy of her peer group, the “esusu” contribution will be increased, and hopefully she can buy new cloths and medication for her mother in the village.
Together, the wife, followed her husband diligently to the farm, to tilt and clear the farm of any unwanted weeds, their hope is on the future; their happiness depends on the harvest, they trusted in the hands of God for their children to secure their tomorrow better than the way they lost their yesterday.
Before the beginning of the planting season the farmer had consulted the Oracle in the land of seven hills, he was told to beware of the locust, his farm would be eaten up by the locust. How can the locust come after years of hard work and sublimations to the gods with sacrifices in all the four corners and junctions for Esu to look the other way? He asked the Oracle.
“You cannot stop it from happening, the locust will come from “Arewa” they will be huge and they will not only eat the Cassava, they may even eat you too if you fail to heed the gods”. The Oracle warned.
It was not good news for the farmer, he called a meeting of his peers in his village and they felt they have to increase the sacrifices to the gods, to have mercy on them; the locust must not eat their farms this season they all agreed.
What happened next?