There is a popular saying that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. The snake, also called  the serpent, which is a crawling animal, is different thing to different people. It also represents the dual expression of good and evil. 

In some communities, the snake is seen in bad light, considered evil or as an enemy, while in some other communities it is taken as a friend, some people would even sleep with it and worship it. In the  same vein, while some people eat snake meat,  some others detest or abhor it. 

In the Holy Bible, the snake is at one stage presented as an enemy, the deceiver  of mankind, that brought about the downfall of man,  while  at another stage the snake is presented as the symbol of man’s salvation.

In the book of Genesis, Chapter 3: 1-14, for instance, the snake which was described as “the most cunning animal that the Lord God had made”, had had a long dialogue with the first woman, Eve, when it asked her why they would not eat the fruit at the  centre of the garden, to which Eve  replied that it was forbidden by God that they would not eat of it else they die.  

But the snake told Eve that the fruit was not the fruit of death, but the fruit of knowledge, and that if they eat it, they would become like God, knowing good and evil. As soon as Eve along with her husband,  Adam, ate the fruit, their eyes were opened and they realized that they were naked and they began to cover their nakedness with leaves.

God was furious, not only that he punished Adam and Eve for their disobedience and chased them out of paradise,  he equally punished the snake for deceiving man,  vowing that he would create enmity between it and man. 

In Chapter 3: 14-15, God rebuked the snake thus: “You will be punished for this, you alone of all the animals must bear this curse. From now on you will crawl on your belly, you will have to eat dust as long as you live. I will make you and the woman hate each other, her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head and you will bite their heel. 

However, in Exodus 4:3, the snake was made to play significants role in the freedom of the people of Israel. To prove  that he indeed is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who would lead the Israelites out of Egypt, God commanded Moses to throw down the stick he was holding. Immediately this was done, it turned to snake. When Moses, out of fear was about to run away, God told him to pick it up by the tail, which Moses did, and it became a stick again.

It was that very stick that Mose had used in performing several miracles, before Pharaoh would agree to allow him to take the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses equally used the same stick to divide the Red Sea into two to enable the people of Israel to cross over it.  He used it to strike rock in the wilderness and water started flowing, etc.

Similarly, in Numbers 21: 4-9, the snake was made an instrument of healing, when as many Israelites that were bitten by poisonous snakes and had beholden the bronze snake molded by Moses, and which  he hung on the pole, were healed. 

In the same vein, in John 3: 14, Jesus compared himself to the bronze snake made by Moses in the desert as the saviour of the world. “As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert, in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life”.

Thus,  if snake could perform all these miracles and we believe them,  why wouldn’t we believe that snake had also  swallowed N36 million belonging to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB)? 

Why do some people think that it is a fairytale? Is it because it happened in Nigeria and not in the  Middle East or Europe? A snake that had spoken to a woman and convinced her to disobey God’s law is also capable of swallowing much more money than N3m. The same thing is true for  a snake that was hidden in a stick that was used to perform numerous miracles.

In any case, why all these hullabaloo over a paltry N36m said to be swallowed by snake when billions of dollars would just grow wings and fly away? If I were that snake, I would swallow much larger amount knowing that nothing would happen to me since nothing had happened to many others who  looted the treasury.

Senator Shehu Sani thought that the snake that swallowed the N36m would be so foolish to be stationary at one particular point after swallowing it.  That was why when he stormed the  JAMB office with snake charmers he could not find the snake. The snake must have gone to other places  to look for other bigger amount to swallow.

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