By Christy Nwaogu
Profound apprehension has gripped personnel of the FCT Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at Wuse Zone 5 after the recent discovery of many snakes at the office premises.
The discovery was triggered by a snake attack on a worker who was installing a telecommunication equipment and decided to use a toilet at the premises.
He was bitten twice on his manhood by the snake and rushed to a hospital, but was later withdrawn to receive traditional medicine which his family preferred.
Some officers who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said “non-native” pythons seemed to have established a breeding population at the office premises.
On March 29, 2022, the command’s authorities sought the help of some snake charmers who captured nine snakes after a three-hour search.
The snakes which were believed to have inhabited the various water closets at the office seem to be competing with rodents for food.
An officer said; “Huge snakes, some up to 20 feet long or more, with telephone-pole-sized girths, have been parading the area.
“As I speak to you, we are now afraid of night duty. The March 29 incident was not an isolated case, as snakes have become regular guests at the FCT command.”
LEADERSHIP Sunday further gathered that most officers have vowed never to use the restrooms at the premises or even sleep while on night duty again after the frightening incident and numerous other cases of snakes moving around the car park and pavilion which are surrounded by trees.
The officers said the problem was further compounded by poor power supply, especially at night.
An officer said, “On that fateful day, my colleague and I were coming out of the security post when the victim screamed and when we rushed to his aid, we saw a big snake, raised the alarm and immediately alerted our superiors.
“Members of our Rapid Rescue Unit were alerted and they immediately rushed to the spot and took him to a hospital. The snake bit him twice on his manhood. On hearing the news, other officers and visitors at the premises immediately left the premises.”
A female officer who refused to disclose her department which according to her shares the same toilet block, said another snake was spotted near the exit gate of the office but before alerting others, it escaped.
Our correspondent observed that the car park and part of the pavilion are dense with trees and grasses. It was gathered that usually, snakes were spotted near the grasses but now appear to have migrated to the main building which indicates that their population has increased.
Another officer, said, “We were shocked to discover snakes hiding in different locations. The sight was scary. No fewer than nine snakes were caught.
“We usually find many rats, some of them as huge as bandicoots, running here and there and making noise as they run over the ceilings. Luckily, we have not encountered any snake coming for these rats, so far,” said another officer who added that the offices were almost empty since the discovery.
Another staff member said prior to the snake bite, the management had not cared to keep the surroundings free of rodents. He said because of the incident, officers are now afraid of using the toilets even when seriously pressed.
When contacted on by our correspondent, the image maker of the command, Comfort Okomanyi, said; “I am disputing that information, it is not true, I do not know where you people get information from.”
When repeatedly asked if she was actually disputing the fact that someone was bitten by a snake and if snake charmers did not capture nine reptiles, she said; “Yes, we carried out a fumigation exercise and a snake was killed.”
The removal of the nine snakes came barely a few months after a Nigerian Air Force female officer identified as Lance Corporal Bercy died after she was bitten by a snake when she sat on the toilet seat in her apartment at the Air Force Base, Bill Clinton Way, Airport Road, Abuja.
Reports had it that the snake made its way into her toilet bowl and bit her.
LEADERSHIP Sunday recalls that the accountant-general of the federation, Ahmed Idris in November 2021 said his office proposed N36 million in the 2022 budget to combat antelopes, snakes and other reptiles that trouble them.
Idris made the disclosure at a budget defence where he explained that the fund would help them adequately fumigate especially the academy surrounded by bushes housing antelopes and snakes.
Source: Leadership Newspaper
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