The Gray African Parrot
Ǫkwę ore yie ǫmǫ odi hi

There is an Isoko language proverb that says Ǫkwę ore yie ǫmǫ odi hi which translates as Parrot will not give birth to a dumb child. Isoko are located in the rain/mangrove forest of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The African gray parrot is common in the region and is generally used to adorn affluent homes as pet birds.

 Parrots are birds of the roughly 393 species in 92 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, found in most tropical and subtropical regions. Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly colored, and some are multi-colored.

They form the most variably sized bird order in terms of length. They feed mainly on seeds, nuts, fruit, buds, and other plant material. A few species sometimes eat carrion, while the lories and lorikeets are specialized in feeding on floral nectar and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest in tree hollows (or nest boxes in captivity), and lay white eggs from which they hatch altricial young.

Parrots are among the most intelligent birds, and the ability of some species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets. Some, like the gray African parrot, are intelligent and talk at the level of a four-to-five-year-old human.

Parrots are kept as companion birds to fulfill social, emotional, and cognitive needs of their human caretakers.

African gray parrots have a weird ability to mimic speech; male and female may talk alike but male takes preeminence when they are paired, just as the male chicks explore their environment ahead of the females. They grow to be up to 33centimeter (13 inches) in length and are Africa’s largest parrot. Their plumage can be various shades of gray, usually slightly darker on the wings and back, with a histrionic crimson tail.  It has a hooked beak that is extremely strong. They are known to be monogamous. The average clutch is two to four eggs. The female incubates them alone, while her mate brings her food. After they hatch, both the male and female tend to the chicks.

Your pet bird is most likely to learn to talk from you.  Young birds learned a flock language from other birds after they left the nest and in our homes, we become a pet bird’s flock.

Parrot-Chick not Dumb

Parrots, very easily, learn words that you say enthusiastically, and thus. may repeat an exclamation or foul language after hearing it only once, while ignoring the polite word you are trying to teach it. Thus it becomes essential to watch your language around your pet bird and when you want your pet bird to learn to say something, say it with enthusiasm, loudly, excitedly and in a high voice. Pet birds learn from each other.

In the wild, a bird would be learning the flock language from its flock-mates. In our homes, the family dog, you and your housemates or family, and the other pet birds in the household constitute its flock.

Children Upbringing

Parrot and Child

A child begins the school year with blank notebooks, pages fresh and clean. Backpacks are free of crumbs and leaked box drinks. It wakes up early in anticipation. It tries to get to school a bit before the morning bell and start the year off on the right track.Pet birds take higher priority in modern homes over the children. While the children are disengaged from their school teachers and Sunday school teachers due to the unwillingness of parents to have their children disciplined. Pet bird owners want their birds to speak words that are homely to them.

So it is in the life of a child. But when the enabling circumstances are lacking, it may all end in disaster. The child must learn but the parents are not there to guide and teach and the school and Sunday school teachers have been disengaged by the parents’ over-protective tendencies that seek to stuff the child with book knowledge while disengaging moral instruction. This leads to moral decadence.

If you keep your pet parrot without teaching it to talk the language that befits your home it will pick its own guttersnipe language which may be annoying to you. In the same way, when you deprive constituted and trained authority to teach your child it will pick its habits from the environment that it grows up in; and you can be sure that the adopted environment is loose, unproductive and disastrous. You’ll be lucky if your house help is authoritative and well-mannered.

Funsho was in secondary school and came home one of those days to report his teacher to his grandmother, who he erroneously believed was his mother. The grandmother narrated the case to his uncle who happened to be of a high social class. This uncle went with Funsho to the teacher’s house and gave Funsho instruction to slap the teacher; that must have been after some discussions, though. Funsho’s cousin, who happened to be a teacher too, advised Funsho to apologize to his teacher in order to avert an impending disaster. He was told that God’s command to honor parents is not limited to blood parents. “Your teacher is your parent since you’ve been placed under his authority” he was told. He never did. Today, the price he’s paying is high.

Nation Building

A nation grows and develops when there is a succession of progressive leadership. Let us take Lagos state in Nigeria as an example, notwithstanding the sledge hammer pouncing on Lagos State in the era of Governor Tinubu, there was some remarkable transformation in the life of the people due to emplacement of infrastructures and progress-impacting bye-laws. Governor Fşsǫla also made his own impact. Successor Ambǫde has shown evidence of moving the state further in progress. This is all that can be proudly said of the South-West Socio-economic Zone.

Childhood cannot be declared as biological relationship in politics, although it can infect politics. In the southern part of Nigeria there was a very pathetic case of an erstwhile military Governor whose administration greatly impacted his domain through the establishment of blanket bursary awards to indigenes of his state in post-secondary institutions, establishment and emplacement of District hospitals to even out medical delivery at par in all the districts within the state, power distribution across his state, water supply, etc. but whose son as Executive Governor cannot today boast of any contribution towards the development of his domain; he was generally referred to as “hot-pant Governor”. Such can be referred to as “a dumb chick.”

Indira Gandhi: Not a Dumb Parrot-Child

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was an Indian politician and central figure of the Indian National Congress party, and to date the only female Prime Minister of India. Indira Gandhi was the daughter of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. She served as Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, making her the second-longest-serving Prime Minister of India after her father.

Indira Gandhi’s accomplishments include but not limited to:

  1. As Prime Minister, Gandhi brought about a radical change in the country’s economic, political, international and national policies. She oversaw the implementation of over three Five-year plans – two of which were successful in meeting the targeted growth.
  2. One of her crucial economic decisions included the nationalization of strategic commercial banks and industries.
  • It was during Gandhi’s premiership that Green Revolution brought remarkable change in the agricultural production in India changing the course of the nation – from an import dependent country, India could now manage a decent portion of its demands from domestic production. She mainly targeted at growth with stability and progressive achievement of self-reliance.
  1. In 1971, Gandhi supported the East Pakistan in the Pakistan Civil War, which led to the formation of Bangladesh. This helped India bring the Himalayan states under the influence of the country. While Nepal and Bhutan remained aligned to India, Sikkim was incorporated as an Indian state in 1975, through a referendum.
  2. Gandhi also brought social reforms by introducing clauses in the Indian Constitution related to wages – equal pay for equal work to both men and women.
  3. Commencement of Operation Blue Star to strip clean the Golden Temple from the terrorists and subdue Bindrawale and his men. Operation Bluestar successfully subdued Bhindarwale and his team but several civilians lost their lives and the shrine was ruefully damaged. Due to this, Gandhi earned the hatred of Sikhs who declared Bindrawale a martyr of the 21st century.
  • An annual award for National Integration, Indira Gandhi Award was conceptualized and established by the Indian National Congress in 1985.
  • She was voted as the greatest Indian Prime Minister in a poll organised by IndiaToday. She was also named ‘Woman of the Millennium’ in a poll organised by the BBC in 1999.
  1. The Government of Bangladesh bestowed upon Gandhi its highest state award for her ‘outstanding contribution’ to the country’s independence.
  2. She imposed a State of Emergency in India in June 1975, which lasted for 21 months until March 1975. She ruled by decree during Emergency and brought the entire country under the rule of the Central government.
  3. She initiated the Operation Blue Star to strip clean the Golden Temple from the terrorists supporting Bindranwale. It eventually led to her assassination.

Indira can be seen as a genuine child-parrot that was not dumb as her father accomplished the under listed for India:

  1. Helped write a great constitution: Nehru brought together a wide array of mutually antagonist people and together they wrote one of the finest Constitutions in the world.
  2. Let India stay as a democracy: Most leaders who stay that long screw up the fundamental nature of the system. That happened in almost all newly independent nations in the world.
  3. Built a strong image for India abroad: Nehru built a name for India in the world bodies. This was even well before independence. He managed to have a very cordial relationship with both the superpowers. It is remarkable that even at the height of the cold war in early 60s, both superpowers agreed on one thing – supporting India.
  4. Helped end colonialism: Nehru and his Non-Aligned Movement were powerful voice in ending colonialism and slavery in much of Asia and Africa.
  5. Integrated Goa & Pondicherry well: East Timor and Goa were both Portuguese colonies. Indonesia captured East Timor & India captured Goa. Three decades later, East Timor is now split off from Indonesia, while Goa stays firmly a part of India. Nehru’s charm is often understated. It is not easy to build a nation.
  6. Hindu code bills – A series of landmark legal achievements that brought plenty of new legal rights to Hindus, especially women.

Can Ajasin be called a True Parrot-Child?

Adekunle Ajasin (28 November 1908 – 3 October 1997) was appointed Principal of Imade College, Owo, where he initiated an aggressive staff development program, including sending teachers to University College, Ibadan for further training. Ajasin was involved in Nigeria’s pre-independence politics. In the 1950s, The Action Group (a Political Party which revolutionized the old Western Nigeria) of which he was Vice President was officially founded and launched in his home at Owo. He was a national Vice President of the Action Group. In 1951 he wrote a paper that was to become the educational policy of the Action Group party, advocating free education at all levels. He was one of the founders of the party, whose other policies included immediate independence from Britain, universal health care, and abolition of want through effective economic policies.

In December 1962, he left Imade College to become founder, proprietor and first principal of Owo High School from January 1963 to August, 1975, when he retired.

It is said of him (Samuel, 2013) “The unfolding transition program of General Ibrahim Babangida saw him become the rallying point for progressive political forces in Nigeria which culminated in the victory of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the Presidential Elections of 1993 – an election that has been acclaimed as the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria.

“It was the annulment of the election which brought out the best in him politically, for since June 1993, he became the arrow head of opposition to the nullification of the election and thereafter worked relentlessly for an early enthronement of democratic civilian rule as practiced in all civilized countries.

“Despite his old age, and sometimes ailing health, he continued to attend various meetings with the hope of finding a peaceful resolution to the political impasse. He dialogued with Nigeria’s Head of State, General Sanni Abacha a couple of times; convened the first ever summit of Politicians in December of 1995 – all in an effort to find a just solution to Nigeria’s problems. It was during one of the preliminary preparatory meetings for the Summit that he took ill and Dr. Alex Ekwueme had to take the chair.”

Three months and eight days older than Obafemi Awolowo, he can still be said to be a true parrot-child since he conceded the leadership of the Action Group to Awolowo; although we might better see him as a parrot-child of the Action Group. He followed the ideals of the party and committed himself to national development.

Dumb Parrot-Children

A dumb parrot-child is one who has the opportunity to be exposed to the ideals of morality but defects from its practice.

One notable woman surprised the nation as dumb-parrot chick if the allegations against her are true

Cecilia Ibru, Former managing director of Oceanic Bank International. Cecilia Ibru is said to be involved in one of the biggest female corruption scandals in the history of Nigeria. Multi-billion Money Laundering Scandal (Nigeria Newspaper, 2016). She belonged to a united family that built its wealth on the legacy and training received from their father, Chief Epete  Ibru. Chief Olorogun Michael Ibru as the head of the Ibru clan, was said to pull all members of his family into his gift of entrepreneurship believing there is a genius in everyone (Ahon and Brisibe, 2016). It is unfortunate that Mrs Cecilia Ibru, who could say of her husband “He was known as the ‘Fisherman of Nigeria’ who ensured that much-needed protein was available for low-income families to feed their children” could deprive the low-income families of the much-needed funds for purchasing the much-needed   protein through money-laundering.

The others that were contesting for the rank of the most dumb child are:

  1. Diezani Alison-Madueke: Her name has become the synonym with the embezzlement scandals and embezzling  cosmic sum of $20 billion On Shady Oil Deal and stealing at least $25 million from Indian businessmen in a shady oil deal (Hart, 2015);
  2. Stella Oduah, the former Nigerian Minister of Aviation in the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, was involved in the corruption scandal of buying two bulletproof BMW cars at an allegedly inflated rate of N255 million. However, Justice Mohammed Yunusa restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting the former minister of aviation on September 3 (Hart, 2015);
  3. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was accused of stealing $1 billion while serving as finance minister in Jonathan’s administration (Hart, 2015);
  4. Toyin Saraki, the wife of the Senate president and former governor of Kwara state, Bukola Saraki, was invited this summer by the EFCC to explain the strange inflow of funds into companies where she had interests when her husband was the governor of Kwara state. Reacting to the commission’s invitation, Toyin Saraki said she will honor the invitation (Hart, 2015);
  5. Marilyn Ogar, a former Department of State Security spokesperson, was also accused of collecting bribes shortly before the governorship elections in Osun state from the Petroleum Products Marketing (Hart, 2015);
  6. Zainab Dakingari, the daughter of former president Umaru Yar’ Adua and the wife of former Kebbi State -governor Saidu Dakingari, was accused by the EFCC of a fraud worth N2 billion perpetrated during her husband’s tenure as governor of the state (Hart, 2015);
  7. Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, the daughter of Nigerian ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, was embroiled in a money laundering scandal worth N300 million. In 2008, the EFCC charged her to court, but she urged the court to dismiss the charges on the grounds that the money allegedly given to her by the ministry of health had been spent for a bribe given to the members of the Senate Committee on Health (Hart, 2015);
  8. Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, the first female Speaker of the Nigerian House of representatives from June till October 2007 was involved in N628 Million Naira Money Laundering (Nigeria Newspaper, 2016); and
  1. Ndidi Okereke-Onyiuke, Former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. was accused of misappropriation of funds and carried out fraudulent transactions which includes the purchase of N186 million worth of wristwatches without proper accounts and a yacht for N39 million Under her leadership, there was the misappropriation of funds of over N1.5 billion which almost led to the crash of the Nigerian Stock Exchange market in 2009 (Nigeria Newspaper, 2016). It has also been established that her claim to have earned a Ph.D. in business from the City University of New York (CUNY) in 1983 and to have worked for years at the New York Stock Exchange (the world’s largest stock exchange) before returning to Nigeria in 1983 are fake (Kperogi, 2011).

Obasanjo’s Role in the Shaping of Nigeria’s Integrity

Is Obasajo a true parrot-chick?

What qualities make him a true parrot-chick?

Is Obasanjo a dumb parrot-chick?

What time did he acquire dumbness?

What must have been the cause?

What evidence can be adduced for his dumbness?


Ahon, F. and P. Brisibe (2016). Okowa, Ibori, Aguariavwodo, Igbuya, others mourn Olorogun Michael Ibru. Accessed 30 Dec 2016.

Daniel (2015). We’ll Fight Anyone Who Attempts to Sell North Out – Ango Abdullahi. Information Nigeria December 31, 2013. Accessed 27 May 2014.

Egburonu, S; D. Odufowokan; R. Adelowo; T Akowe and K. Adeyemi (2014). 2015: Knife that has divided the North The Nation Feb 23, 2014. Accessed 27 May 2014.

Fagoyinbo, J. B. (2013). The Source of Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Political and Security Dilemma Revealed. Accessed 28 May 2014.

Hart, B. (2015). 7 Women Embroiled In Huge Corruption Scandals In Nigeria. Accessed 14 Nov 2016.

Kperogi, F. A. (2011). Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke;s Fake Doctorate and Professorship. Accessed 14 Nov 2016

Nigeria Newspaper(2016).  CNN Releases List Of 20 Most Corrupt Nigerian Politicians; Obasanjo Tops List, Others Will Shock You.  Nigeria Newspaper On June 03, 2016 Accessed 14 Nov 2016

Nwaeze, A. (2016). Top 5 Notable Nigerian Women Whose Corruption Scandals Went Viral – Naija news. Accessed 14 Nov 2016

Samuel, A. (2013). Life and Time of Pa Adekunle Ajasin Friday, May 31, 2013. Nigeria News Service Online. Accessed 29 Dec 2016.

TFP (Undated). Indira Gandhi Biography. The Famous People.

Viswanathan, B. (2014). What were Jawaharlal Nehru’s greatest achievements? History buff. Upvoted by Nikhil Hajirnis, Accessed 29 Dec 2014.