Skip to content

IN THE VILLAGE OF IBEKWU

           In the village of Ibekwu, there lived a man call Eze with his wife and two children; Obi and Nnenna. This family were living happily and was in good rapport with others. Eze was a great farmer, he had many plots of land for agricultural purposes far and near his compound. The villagers were so fond of him because of his benevolence spirit. A man who respects all but detests injustice to the core. In his village, the riches of a man were been measured by the number of lands, wives, and children he has. But the story is totally different in the life of Eze. He was contented with his one wife, two children, and plots of land.

         On one fateful day, Eke who was a very good friend of Eze came to discuss an issue based on land with him. Though before then, there was a land dispute between Eze and his immediate and only younger brother Ani. This was the land their father left for them before he died. According to their tradition, before a father dies or towards a certain age in life, he will share all his properties among his sons excluding his daughters. And one of the most important parts of this property is land. The particular land that was the bone of contention was given to Eze by his father as the elder but Ani was not happy about it. Even right from the very day, their father shared his properties between him and his elder brother, he never agreed with his father’s decision. And since then, he vowed to take the land from his brother someday even if it would cost him his life. Many elders in the village pleaded with him but he remained adamant. Seeing that people were not happy with his reaction and comment, a few days later, he pretended to have accepted what they said so that peace will reign but deep inside him, he had planned all his evil steps and strategies, waiting for an opportunity to present itself so that he will strike.

         Ani who knew that only Eke could persuade his brother to release the land for him decided to pass through him in order to win the heart of his brother. Eze offered some piece of kola nut as tradition demands in welcoming a visitor to one’s home. After both had finished chewing the kola nut, they entered into the business of the day. Eke cleared his throat and said: “ Well my brother and friend, I have come here on behalf of your younger brother to discuss on that very land he had dearly wanted to inherit from your father of which I know by right as the first son, the land is entitled to you. But in order to allow peace to reign in your family and unity restored, I humbly pray you to give him that piece of land and let him be with his problem.” Eze retorted: “ I have no problem with my brother and the piece of land in question can not bring disunity between us. But the only problem my brother has is that he has never for once being humble since I knew him as a brother and he does not know how to ask something from someone. He used to think that everything could be taken with force in life. Were you not attentive when he uttered that threatening statement that very day our father shared his properties between us? Tell me, how could such a person be called my brother?” At the end of their discussion, they both decided to invite Ani in their next meeting in order to settle the problem once and for all. Eze thought over the issue for few days together with his wife and at the end, his wife finally convinced him to release the land to his brother, saying that after all, they are of the same blood. In the end, he finally made up his mind to give his younger brother the land on the day of their next meeting.

         Three days before the day of the meeting, something terrible and tragic happened in Eze’s house. It was already midnight, all have retired to sleep after the fatigue of the day. The family of Eze was peacefully sleeping when three young men entered his house through the central and only door. The instruction the three young men were given was to kill every person in the house except the small girl, who would live to tell the story throughout her entire life and that they should leave no trace and no shedding of blood. Eze, his wife, and son were all strangled to death while Nnenna was tied to a wood close to their bed with her mouth sealed with an adhesive tape. The executors carried out their job perfectly well and left the scene in peace. The day after the tragic event, passers-by going to their farms were surprised that the family of  Eze was not yet out at that time of the morning which was unusual for them. A courageous man walked straight to Eze’s compound and tried to open the door. But to his greatest bewilderment, a slight touch sent the door to the floor. Behold he saw three bodies lying on the ground and Nnenna tied by the side of a bed. In total confusion, the young man came out quietly and sat on the floor just in front of the door with his two hands on his head. Three other passers-by who saw him tried to ask what the problem was but he uttered not even a single word to them as a response. One of the three persons walked closer to the door and called Eze three times but no reply. He peeped into the room and saw bodies lying down lifelessly. Immediately he screamed, the noise called the attention of the other two who came to see for themselves.

         The news went throughout the village and many wept bitterly and sympathised with Nnenna. The elders and the chief of the village gathered to deliberate on the mysterious event that happened at Eze’s house. After long debate and consultations from all, there was no consensus reached because those who claimed that Ani was behind the killing of his elder brother, had no proof to support their claims. At the end of the meeting, a four-man committee was formed to look into the case and get back to the council of elders in two weeks time. Eke was totally confused about the whole thing and was not convinced that Ani could do such a thing even after telling him that his brother had promised to put an end to the case in their next meeting and from every indication it seemed he had finally decided to give the land to him. After a few days of reflection, Eke forced himself to believe that Ani had nothing to do with the killing of his brother but his thought kept telling him that the young man in question was capable of all, remembering what he said on the very day the properties of his father were shared between him and his elder brother.

         Two weeks later the chief and the council of elders gathered to hear from the four-man committee on their findings and investigation. To the greatest astonishment of all, from some of the investigations, Eke was been accused of the killing. Another terrifying witness was given by Ani who said that the day before the incident, Eke came to his house to talk with him on how they could take the land by force from his brother in case he refused to their demand. At the hearing of this, the meeting was divided into two parties; one in support of  Ani’s testimony and the other was against. Eke could not believe his eyes, so the shock of the whole thing, stood up and left the meeting arena in anger and went home. This act for some was a sign that Eke was guilty and could not withstand the presence of all, that was why he left. Now Eke was fully convinced of his past thought that Ani was responsible for his brother’s death.

         The only obstacle Ani’s life now was Eke. He needed to do everything possible to eliminate him from the face of the earth so that he could sit and enjoy his ill-gotten wealth. He knew very well that by tradition since his elder brother is dead, all his properties belong to him. But he can not sit down to enjoy his life while Eke was still alive. He thought over the issue for days and finally decided to wait for an opportunity for him to kill him.  

A week after the meeting of the council of elders, Eke went to Ani’s house in anger to warn him seriously, knowing fully well that he might be the next person Ani could be targeting to eliminate. Ani reported the case to the council of elders, telling them how Eke came to his house one morning to threaten him. Ani being a wicked and crafty man formulated his story in such a way that it looked as if Eke came threatening his life with a machete and to kill him the way he killed his brother. Many were convinced to a large extent that Eke was really guilty of what he was accused of because of what Ani said.

         Eke, a man who was trusted and respected by everyone saw how his image has been tarnished by someone whom he was only helping out of his own good will, unable to control his anger and the bitterness in his mind decided to go the extreme. One evening though already dark, while he was resting just in front of his compound close to the entrance to his house with his bottle of liquor, the thought of all the whole even starting from the very day he Ani came to his house pleading to him to help him convinced his brother to give him that piece of land he once desired to have till present kept surfacing in his mind, he tried to control it but to no avail. Tears of sorrow and pain started dropping from his eyes, his temper kept rising, he forced himself to control the situation but the more he tried the more his temper rises. Suddenly he leaped to his feet, rushed inside his small hut, took his farm machete and headed towards Ani’s house. Reaching there, he saw his adversary taking liquor with two of his friends who were members of the four-man committee in an open space. Immediately they saw him, the three suddenly stood up from their seats and stepped backward. Before they could voice out a word, Eke had already raised up his hand with the machete on the head of his adversary but Ani was so fast that he moved swiftly from the direction of the machete and ran inside his house. The other two immediately grasped Eke from behind and started pleading with him to drop the machete so that they could settle whatever the problem was amicable. Coming out from the grip, Eke rushed to the door of his adversary but before he could take hold of the door, it was already closed. He gave a deep breath, sighed and left.

         The next day, Ani reported the case to the chief and immediately an emergency meeting was convoked by the council of elders but Eke was not there. After all deliberations and hearings from the witnesses, three men were sent to bring Eke to the meeting by force. Finally, he came and accepted that all that the witnesses said were true. Eke’s family was barred from the village as stipulated by their law for such crime. Ani was very happy how all his plans worked out well for his good. He was given the whole property of his brother as demanded by their custom except Nnenna who refused categorically not to live with her uncle Ani and her decision was respected by the council of elders.

         One month after the burial ceremony of Nnenna’s brother and parents, she was put under the custody of  Nwene, her maternal uncle who lived in the nearby village with his family. Nnenna was ten years old when she finally came to live with the family of Nwene. Nnenna was such a pretty and gorgeous looking girl with her long dark hair, small nose, and slim body structure. She was really admired by all, even at the age of seven many men were already asking for her hands in marriage jovially. She really took after her mother. Nwene had only a son called Emeka who was then eight years old when Nnenna came to join them. Emeka was very fond of Nnenna, both were living like brother and sister, doing almost everything in common.

Two months after Nnenna’s arrival, she was enrolled in the same school Emeka was. Normally after school, the students used to have extra classes which were compulsory for certain classes. One day after school, Nnenna was not feeling too fine and somehow discomforted. She told Emeka about her condition and departed for home. Walking back home just two kilometres away from the school, she started having a strong feeling of nausea. Immediately she moved to one side of the road path and tried to vomit. Initially, nothing was coming out but after few minutes of trial, she vomited almost all the content of her stomach. While she was busy trying to clean up the mess on her body since she was a bit relieved and continue her journey home slowly, lo and behold, two young men came out suddenly from the bush and bounced on her. She was rapped to the point of death by both men. After the act, the men left and she laid there half-dead. She was unable to move or talk. Shortly after the incident, a good Samaritan was passing by and saw Nnenna lying naked on the bushy floor, she ran immediately and raised her head above the ground. She asked her; “ What happened to you? Who did this to you? Are you from this village? Who are your parents? And what is your father’s name? She exclaimed finally: “ Oh my God, these bad boys have done it again to this poor girl.” To all these questions not even a single sound came out of Nnenna’s mouth. The only option for her was to take her to a nearby local maternity centre so to say, which was two kilometres from where they were. Arriving there she was given some local herbs with the intention of reviving her. A few hours later, she was able to speak but slowly. As soon as she gave the name of her uncle, he was fetched immediately together with his wife and their son Emeka. When Nwene saw his niece he was downcast. The whole story was narrated to them. Nwene’s wife and son cried bitterly. While they were asked to remain outside to permit Nnenna to rest a bit and take her home later, a loud cry was heard inside the maternity centre a few minutes later. What happened? They all rushed inside and saw Nnenna lying lifelessly on the wooden bed he was laid. She had given up the ghost.

         The family of Nwene mourned for their niece for a very long period of time after her burial. Nnenna was laid to rest in her mother’s village. Many who attended the burial from her father’s village all went home with a heavy heart wondering why could nature be so unkind to the family of Eze and his entire generation. “ Evil has really prevailed over good” many said.  

%d bloggers like this: