Friday, 19 January 2018

THE GHOST VISITOR Episode 11

Thankfully the elders restrained mazi Njoku and managed to bring back sanity to the assembly. “If Nneoma is the reason we have gathered here; I say let us go home. Nneoma cannot hurt a y!” another elder on the side of mazi Njoku suggested angrily. “No! We cannot go home without hearing why Nneoma went on the run with all her children. There is a strong accusation against her before us. We must hear her first!” the leader of the elders, mazi Obinwa said. “Ichie Obinwa. Let me tell you the truth. We are gathered here this moment, because Nwaraka has not succeeded in his too many efforts to suck Nneoma’s b-----s. Do not worry, when she arrives here, I will end this matter by taking Nwaraka and Nneoma to that corner of the square and have her give him as much suckling as he wants,” mazi Njoku said, leaving most elders doubling over with laughter. Stop that Njoku!” mazi Obinwa demanded. “Mazi Obinwa, have you not been made aware that Nwaraka cannot see well again. Ask him what killed my brother Olekanma and see what he will tell you. Why did he send elders to Okwohia? Why can’t he tell us who is the feet he claims went down to Nwete last night? Nwaraka cannot see well again because he has been made blind by his unquenchable craving for all the widows in our village…” mazi Njoku was still speaking when the warriors arrived with Nneoma and her children.
When Nneoma and her children had been made to sit on the bare floor as their custom was, mazi Obinwa stood up and recited to Nneoma all the accusations leveled against her by Nwaraka. Given the permission to speak for herself, Nneoma stood to her feet, bowed before the elders and began, “All the elders here present know me. I am not a witch. I, Nneoma Uruaku, the wife of the dead Olekanma Uruaku, am no witch! None of my children are witches and wizards! I did not kill my husband. If Nwaraka says I killed my husband let him prove it. We have customs and taboos in this village. If any feet in this village went down to Nwete last night, we all know that by now he or she would have been dead. Why have we not heard cries and wailing for the dead? Are the gods blind? Who is the witch who can withstand the mighty gods at Nwete?!” “Then why are you on the run?! Tell us why you were running away from this!” Nwaraka demanded angrily. His scheme was not working out as he planned it. Mazi Njoku had made sure there were doubts in the minds of the elders over his claims. “Nwaraka, I was on the run because you are now communing with evil spirits who are using you for their own evil, secret, agenda! Did you send for me to come to your shrine with a white c--k along with Onyeka my son?!” Nneoma screamed at him in anger. All eyes turned on Nwaraka. “Do you accuse me of communing with evil spirits?” Nwaraka asked. “Answer the question she posed to you Nwaraka! Did you send for her to come to your shrine with a white c--k and her son Onyeka?!” mazi Obinwa demanded. He had the right to do that, he was the village leader. “Yes, I did. Last night after the spirit attacked Nneoma’s household, I was told what the spirit looks like by Onyekachi her son. He claimed to have seen the spirit. The boy has the gift of the gods. Before we retired to bed last night, Olekanma came to me, my apprentices saw him also. He told me a lot about his son Onyeka. He will make a mighty priest in the hands of the gods. I only asked for the white c--k and the boy just so I could perform the necessary rituals to initiate the boy into the cult of priests.” “Nneoma, you are a witch! Elders, can’t you see that Nwaraka has the right to do what he did? After all he is our seer in this village!” an elder backing Nwaraka shouted. “Elders, Nwaraka works with evil spirits now. He can no longer see much, and he is keeping secrets from our people. The spirit which appeared to him last night as my husband was an evil spirit. It had horns. Our dead people do not have horns. Nwaraka could not see the horns because he is blind. My son Onyeka saw the horns and told me…” Nneoma paused. There was absolute silence as she spoke. “Elders, this is how you will know the truth; Nwaraka, do you know the spirit called Eleke?” Nneoma continued. Nwaraka felt embarrassed. There was no way he would admit before the elders that he did not know the spirit called Eleke and so he bragged, “Yes of course, I know Eleke!” “If you do, please can you tell us its full name and its work.” Nwaraka felt more embarrassed, he wished the ground would open up and swallow Nneoma. “Eleke has no other name or a full name. It is the lord of the spirits which watch over the graves of the dead!” Nneoma shook her head and snapped, “You are a liar! Eleke has a full name and it is Eleke nti oba! It was the spirit that watched over the curses of old, placed on men by the gods…”
The elders whistled in amazement. “Elders of our land! This Eleke nti oba is the spirit which has been deceiving Nwaraka! It was the spirit who sent that evil spirit which Nwaraka thought was my husband. I have spoken with Olekanma, and he told me a lot. My plea by his grave last night was fruitful. Eleke nti oba killed my husband for a debt he had paid in full. This is why the gods said to the elders that the case of the spirit attacking my household is a matter for the gods. I have seen gods and spirits, and have found favour in their eyes! Oh elders, your seer is a blind seer, and he is evil! If I have lied before you people, bring ekwu igwe and I will swear by it! If Nwaraka is telling the truth let him also swear by ekwu igwe! I will say no more!” (Ekwu igwe, is an iron work with three stands used for cooking with firewood. The Igbos believe that it holds great power to kill instantly those who commit evil and try to hide them.) By the time Nneoma was done pleading her case, the elders, both those on the side of Nwaraka and those supporting her, felt overwhelmed. Some of them were literally panting. Their jaws hung open in astonishment. Nwaraka did not know what to do. All he could manage to say was, “Warriors bring ekwu igwe! Bring it and I will swear!” Confident that his brother’s wife had said the truth, Njoku stood to his feet and barked to the warriors, “Bring all the ekwu igwe in our village here now! I will also swear to prove that Nneoma has said nothing but the truth!” before Njoku could finish speaking, Uchenna was already on his feet running into the village to bring ekwu igwe.
STORY CONTINUES…

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