WHO WILL DELIVER THIS LAND?
The National Youth Service Corps program was on for that year in that state. The corp members had to spend 3weeks for an Orientation Course before being posted to their place of primary assignment.
They had spent one week already in the camp, and had two weeks more to go.
Around 8 p.m., under a mango tree, five corp members consisting of two sisters and three brothers were praying fervently while they held their hands together. There was no much noise, just the groaning of passionate hearts travailing for the land.
“I sense a heavy siege of darkness in this camp. The gross increase in unrighteousness, drunkenness and immorality is becoming alarming. Just last night, a lady was reported to experience an unseen hand pressing her in the female hostel. Let’s pray that God’s power will move over this camp right now…” One of them, whose name was Osamudiame from Southern Part of Nigeria said.
They all prayed aggressively.
“Many of our fellow corp members are being attacked in this camp. If this is how it is over here, I wonder how it would be in the villages and towns where we will be posted to. Brethren, we have to pray that God will prepare us for the battles ahead of us in this state He has sent us to….” One of the sisters, whose name was Folakemi, from the Southwestern part of the country said.
They all prayed again until another brother whose name was Hassan, from the Northern part of the country ended the prayers. They have heard the soldiers blowing their whistle, which indicates that they were all to gather at the Multi-purpose hall for their Social Night activities.
“Oh my God! Why do we have to stop this prayers? I hate this social night with passion. It chokes my spirit man..” Ikechukwu (Ike), from the Eastern part of the country said. He wasn’t happy at all.
“Don’t worry, we can be in the Spirit and continue in fervent prayers while these activities are going on. As for me, I will sit at the back. I have some burden to deal with in prayer instead of wasting my time listening to those jokes and lies of those comedians….” Emmanuella said. She was a foreign student from one of the countries in West Africa. Her parents was based in Nigeria, but she went to school outside Nigeria.
“That’s a great idea. I think that’s exactly what I will do too…” Ike said.
They all left in a hurry to avoid any embarrassment by those brutal soldiers on patrol around the camp.
The chief priest, with his boys carried the head of the hunters killed by Ogugu and marched to the palace of the king.
When the king heard that the chief priest was around, he was terrified, because, he (the chief priest) scarcely visits his (the king’s) palace except when there’s a great offence in the land.
He came out to greet the chief priest.
“The great Chief priest of Ogugu! I greet you” he greeted, but there was no response from the priest.
He cleared his throat and continue…”what has brought you to my palace this early morning? The sun is yet to expose its bright smiling face upon the earth.”
The chief priest looked at the king with a frown and said…” The antelope that challenges a lion in a fight, does so to its own peril. The child that jumped into fire and expect to play with its flames will be charred and roasted…”
He commanded the boys to drop the five(5) heads before the king and then they left the palace.
“Hey! Chi m’ ooo. Who are these?” The king asked screaming.
The guards did a proper examination of the heads.
“My king, these are the heads of the brave hunters in the kingdom of Ugala. Here…see, this is the head of Kelechi, the son of Umudike, and this one is Ozioma, the son of Ugwuede, and the others are Chinedu, Uzoma and Chigozie. Hmmmm…but how did they die? Who killed them?” One of the guards said.
“Who else? Tell me who else, if not Ogugu?” The king said in frustration.
“It seems they went to challenge him in that evil Forest where he lives….” Another of the king’s guard said.
“Chai! This is not a good news at all this early morning. Please, take their heads to their various families for proper burial” the king said and went inside with a bitter heart.
There was great crying in the age-wife/”>village that day, most especially in families of the deceased hunters.
The king was very uncomfortable. His wife tries to comfort him, but he looked at her and said “Am I the king of this Kingdom?”
“Yes, you are. You are the Igwe of the ancient Ugala Kingdom” the queen said.
“I don’t think so. How can I be a king and my people will be suffering every now and then. The land is in captivity. We don’t have any freedom. That man, Ogugu seems to be the one ruling. I can’t stand this anymore. I have to do something…” The king said. He stood up and was thinking deeply.
“What are you going to do, my king?” The queen said as she drew near to him.
“Guards!” The king shouted.
The guards came into the palace in a haste.
“Go and gather all the warriors of this Kingdom. Tell them, there’s a war to fight!” The king said.
The guards went immediately to do as they had been commanded.
“Ah! My king, you want to put the lives of the warriors at risk? Five great hunters could not succeed. How are we sure that the warriors would succeed?” The queen said. She was greatly afraid.
“Woman, the hen that fears the eagle, will have her chick taken for the eagle’s lunch, but the hen that fights back will overcome. If 5 could not do it, then a host of great warriors will!” The king said and went out.
The warriors were all gathered at the palace.
“Great Warriors of the ancient Ugala Kingdom!” The king hail them.
“Igweeeeeee!” They all shouted.
“The sounding of the horn of war is an indication of an emergency. Igwe, we are here” Amadi, the leader of all the Warriors said.
“The fire that burns on the mountain and flows into the valley should not be overlooked. We must rise up fast and block all its channels before it sweeps through village” the king said as he addressed the Warriors.
“Warriors, tell me, have we ever lost in any battle before?” The king shouted.
“Never!” They all screamed.
“Have we ever been defeated by any kingdom or anyone?” The king asked again.
“No!” They all shouted.
“We will claim our age-wife/”>village from every terror and evil in it…” The king shouted.
The Warriors all shouted “yessssss”
They were all screaming and shouting.
“Prepare, Warriors, we are going to fight Ogugu today….” The king shouted even more loudly.
All the Warriors kept silent immediately.
“I said, we are going to fight Ogugu today!” He shouted again.
“Ehm, Igwe, please, don’t be offended. Did you say, we are going to fight Ogugu?” One of the Warriors said with a shaking voice.
“Yes…Are you not the great Warriors of this Kingdom?” The king asked, surprised at the action of the Warriors.
“Mba oooo… For that one, my king, we cannot ooo. Wait, I heard those five (5) great hunters, I mean, Kelechi, Ozioma, Uzoma, Chinedu and Chigozie, their bodies except their heads were never recovered after their encounter with Ogugu..” The leader of the group said to the king.
“Who does not know these hunters, Igwe? Kelechi, that man that singlehandedly strangled a lion with his bare hands. And Uzoma, he killed a ferocious bear with a stick. Or is it Chigozie, who fought with that great boa in the forest and killed it. Chinedu, the gorilla killer or Ozioma, that man killed a chimpanzee that was terrorizing this kingdom. These five could not face one man! Igweeeeee…. For me ooo, my parents are still alive and my younger ones depend on me for their upkeep. I can’t endanger my life….” One of the warriors who was as brave as Amadi said.
“You don’t need to be afraid, Warriors. You are more in numbers. You can defeat him” the king said as he tried to encourage them.
“Igweeeeeee…. May you live forever, but for this suicide mission, we cannot go….” Amadi said and commanded the warriors to go back home.
They all left the palace.
“Ahhhhhh…..how long? For how long shall the helpless hen continue to cry as her chicks are being killed by the vicious hawk every day?” The king said mournfully.
“Oh, who will deliver this land from this evil man..?” He asked as he looked at the sky.
Watch out for the next episode…