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Saturday, February 10, 2018

The gods might be confused 3

Written by: Muoka Chibuzor G

The aggressions of a tyrant is upon the weak in heart...

When Ifenna one of the King's allies left the gathering of the Umunna in fury, his loyalists also stepped out with him in the same accord with grievances to quickly inform the king about the perceived threats to his throne. The gathering of the Umunna was struck with profound confusion. As most titled men of the land left in a hurry, none of them wanted to bite the finger that feeds them.

Just then Obiakor spoke so loud from behind to bring the people to order, and the youths shouted a loud "Yes" to each of his proclamations.
"They cannot have their way because we have the will. The vultures have left, shameless men who dine and wine on the crisis shrinking the land that was handed over to us by our ancestors.  Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Let’s be man enough to live our lives and own our destiny! Posterity shall never forgive us if we hand over a harsh world to them."
As he spoke so fiercely and fearlessly, raising his right-hand high with his fist tightly closed to signify power, his two friends Jidenna and Okpara sought to mute him. This two men felt Obiakor was overstepping boundaries.

They dragged him to a corner and said to him, "It appears that the infamous Onuogu the god of stubbornness has possessed you. Be careful! For he who fights with monsters might take care lest he becomes a monster, if you gaze so long into the abyss, the abyss will definitely gaze back into you. We hope you have not chosen the path of rebellion? Always remember you are the only child of your late parents."

But Obiakor replied them saying;  "A man's background should never hold him to the ground. Don't you see that the King and his subjects have no viable plans for us, the king only expects us to fight and die for his selfish desires in battle. Why don't you stand with me my friends, one arrow alone can be easily broken, but many arrows are indestructible!"

"We can no longer keep staying in this meeting arena, for evil might befall us." Jidenna compelled Okpara who agreed with him and pressurized Obiakor to go home.
Most of the youths expressed happiness to Obiakor's actions as they cheered him up, saying. "Obiakor the fearless son of Ijere we are behind you." Obiakor replied them saying; don't be behind me, instead  stand with me in truth and honesty."

While Ifenna was still on his way to the palace, he kept reciting the words "The king must hear this! The land is been desecrated by miscreants." so loudly to his followers while raising his walking stick so high in the direction of the king's palace. While he was still talking, Ogbaoso the son of Ajunwa the potter was already ahead of him to inform the king.

"Obidike is to blame, when the king questions, he shall answer. Do not say you saw me, I never saw you today nor have we met in the meeting." the elderly men dialogue and agreed amongst themselves as they dispersed from the Umunna meeting in groups. When they got home they prohibited their wives and children from coming outside. Everyone was afraid of the wrath of the merciless king. But the youths of the land were fed up with the lifestyle that their parents had accepted as a way of life.

Obidike quickly sought for Obiakor who was on his way back home, and when he saw him from afar he called out " my son, my son please stop, I have been in search of you." When Obiakor heard his voice he was astonished and was seriously wondering why Obidike of all people would chase after him.

When Obidike got to close proximity to him and he said, "My son you have not only said the irreplaceable truth, you have also brought back the light of admonition to the land. The era of tyranny will soon come to an end, if only you would preach the truth you have brought to us today, no matter the cost."

"You have spoken wisely, but your safety can no longer be guaranteed. I want you to leave Okonta land, for I barely can remember whoever revolted against King Esema and lived to tell the tale!" Obidike pleaded.

"I cannot leave my birthplace for a tyrant!" Obiakor replied in anger as he rolled his eyes in several directions showing signs of tension.
"Enough is enough, for how long shall the people suffer. I have suffered a lot since my parents died, I could only boast of having palm kernels to eat. At my age, I can't even boast of feeding a woman.

Everyone will surely die, both the great and small, both the kings and the slaves, the daunting steps of death don't quake me anymore. We can only draw lessons from the past but cannot live in it. If you do want to, I resent continuing."

Obidike was shocked by Obiakor's resolve; he held Obiakor on his shoulder and spoke in a low tone,
"I understand your grievances but do not allow what killed your father to kill you too. When I look into your eyes, I only see burning coals of anger ready to consume even the air that we breathe.
You have inherited Ijele's stubbornness, His refusal to work for the king as his personal palm wine tapper made him meet his Waterloo earlier than he expected.
When the king decides to come after you, of which I know he would, because no man beats the drums of Surugede and expects the spirits not to dance, I shall send my servant Ogili to inform you so that you leave the land immediately. My son, he who fights and run away, live to fight another day."

Obiakor was quite as Obidike spoke to him about his father's death. He knew he had to tread more cautiously as regards his outspokenness about the King at the Umunna meeting. Immediately, Obidike left him while wishing him the blessings of the gods.

Before Ifenna could enter the king’s palace he came to a grand halt with his men as he saw Ojadike the Ekwueme (talk and do) of Okonta land coming from an opposite direction.
Ojadike was the one King Esema chose to replace Obinigwe the incarcerated high priest.

Ojadike was a man of questionable character, he was a puppet that danced to the inhumanly tunes of the puppeteer, for whatever evil the King sought of him, he accomplished.  He was a great sycophant and dwelled mostly in the king’s palace; his sycophantic lifestyle and unending showers of encomiums towards the rich, made him attain enviable positions. "But what shall one do?" He often asked himself, "One can only exploit the rich by praises and possible worship." He also replies himself.

"My king, the king of Okonta land and beyond.
The warrior who defeated Obima in a flash and dragged the immortals of Ndiama to Okonta land.
The fears of the fearful death to whom all earthly forces submit to.
The Ugliness of the most dreaded beast!"
"Your servant is here once again in total submission."                                                 
Ojadike bows before the King.

While Ojadike spoke, King Esema nodded his head in appreciation of the praises and acknowledgement of his presence.
"Detestable words have reached my ears and tingle it, my heart pounds faster and my lips shiver for I do not want to irate my gracious King."
While Ojadike was busy beating around the bush, the King immediately cautioned him and demanded to know the recent development in the land. “Go straight to the point!” he commanded Ojadike.

"Ogbaoso the great informer, who told you about Egwuatu's misbehaviour, has also brought words saying that some rebellious men has arisen in the land and are seeking your downfall. Ogbaoso made mention of Obiakor the son of Ijele and Obidike the brother of Udara's father as the chief architects of the plan." Ojadike said.

King Esema was so infuriated, "release twelve of the forbidden warriors of Ndiama! Tell them to bring me the head of these two men. I don't tolerate rubbish, I deal with it. Tell them also to bring back sanity to the land while destroying anyone found preaching rebellion, I rule and no other. Also, ensure to reward Ogbaoso for his timely information." He ordered Ojadike.
Yes, my King! Ojadike answered as he bowed and left the hallowed presence of the kings.

For the first time, Udara the second wife of the King rushed into the king’s presence to intercede on behalf of her Father's brother Obidike. But the king resisted her pleas; "Leave my presence woman! The man you plead for is planning my downfall. My humanity abhors such men."
While Ojadike delivered the kings instructions to the commander of Okonta's battalion, he seriously pondered on why the forbidden warriors of Ndiama should be released.

According to history, these warriors were only released once every twenty years for they were said to dwell with death himself. They were preserved for wars of high and unimaginable magnitude. They spoke to no one but answered only to the King's instructions which are to kill and destroy.
They were acquired from a faraway land known as Ndiama when King Esema defeated Diko the king of Ndiama in a duel with the help of an insider called Oromi who leaked destructive secrets about King Diko's lifestyle.

His weakness was women and therefore King Esema sent Omaricha the beauty, the woman who captivated Diko's attention and poisoned him through his drink. When this happened his semi-mortal warriors pledged allegiance to King Esema. 

Before Ifenna could utter a word, Ojadike who was dressed in red gown attire, with scary indescribable white markings of the white Nzu all over his face and body, jumped up severally, vibrating his body while muttering indecipherable words that sounded scary. Ifenna could only hear when he said: "speak gods for your servant listens." In fact, Ojadike was a man of dramatic inclinations.

Ojadike shook the metal staff which has small round jingling metal bells in his right hand so violently that the cacophony produced was deafening, then he spoke to Ifenna in a shaky strong voice saying,

"The Snake says that the reason why he has no legs and arms is that if his legs did not get him in trouble, his arms would. So many people are now praying to the gods of the land to give snakes hands and arms, but they are only asking for trouble.
When Nza the small bird starts to get an expanded chest [arrogant], it looks as though he will be bigger than his mother. But the gods are not asleep for the height of a child does not signify maturity.
Before you came, the gods knew, before you speak the gods heard. Do not worry, for I had already heard about the rebellious intents fuelled by two nonentities that dwell in the land. They shall count their teeth's with their tongue. You shall be rewarded by the king for your faithfulness."

"Thank you wise one", Ifenna spoke in high elation. "Am glad the king has already been properly briefed about the looming chaos in the land."
While they spoke, the fully armed warriors of Ndiama moved pass them in haste without uttering a word. The loud thuds from resulting from their aggressive footsteps indicated that they were off to destroy, to apprehend Obidike and Obiakor.

"And who has released the beasts from their dungeons to move among men?" Ifenna asked Ojadike as he wanted to go into hiding, with his mouths agape and eyes in shock as he saw the forbidden warriors of Ndiama for the first time in fifteen years.  

"The last time these fighters came out was when Okonta land fought and defeated the beasts of Obande evil forest. The situation in the land has not risen to irreparable anarchy." Ifenna spoke with concern, but Ojadike replied,
"Let us remove the monkey's hand from the soup while it has not turned into the hand of a human being."

Ifenna looked up to the sky and shook his head in utter disbelief, "I hope the King is not making a grave mistake" he thought within himself as the full gaze of Ojadike was still rested on him. He was in lacks of any more questions to ask.

To be continued...

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