The Retelling Story of Igodo - Episode 1
The Retelling Story of IGODO
"My son is dead. Nwa m nwoke naani anwuola- my only son is dead", the cries of Uju, the third wife of the Igwe of Umu-Igodo pierced the day. Her co-wives were beside her, consoling her about the death of her only son.
Not long, a man was seen carrying a boy of seventeen years old in his arms going towards the direction of the Igwe's Palace, behind him are the villagers of Umu-Igodo who troop in groups as they made their way to the Igwe's Palace.
The people of Umu-Igodo had been known as a cursed village, they were being curse by their ancestors. Everyday that passes, a living being must sleep with the dead . The land had long forgotten the taste of joy and happiness, it was now plague with darkness and sorrows, that was what they only remembered. Everyday the villagers live in fear, they don't know who will be the next. And so they prayed to their gods, Amadioha, but their pleads always fell on deaf ears.
Igwe Omenika of Umu-Igodo with his elders sat down to discuss about what is happening and what had befall the Igwe's family.
"Igwe on the behalf of the elders and myself, please accept our condolence" Mazi Okeke, the Onowu said.
"My elders I thank you all". Igwe Omenika reply soberly
"Igwe, things are getting out of hand for us in Umu-Igodo
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. We have to do something now". Mazi Okoro said
"Yes I know, but who will help us to remove the curse placed upon our ancestors which is affecting us today?" The Igwe asked
Before any one would say anything, the man who was carrying the dead body of the young boy came in and drop the body at the feet of the King.
"Igwe, another one is gone Igwe. A day before yesterday it was Ugala son. Yesterday it was Izaga whose daughter died at childbirth, and today my son followed. Everyday people are dying in this village, there is no day that passes that you won't hear a cry of a villager. Igwe we are all tried. It is either you bring back my son or you will bury both me and my son here and now". Odum said.
"Igwe not only him will you bury, but all of us together". A woman said and the villagers that has now gathered in the Igwe's Palace all echoes
"People of Umu-Igodo please be patient with us, we are surely going to get to the root of our predicament". Mazi Okeke said to the villagers.
"Mazi Okeke, this is not a new song to us, we all are going to stay here till our problems is been solved". Odum said and the villagers agreed. They all sat down on the bare ground.
The Igwe sadly shakes his head.
"I think we should call IGODO, the oldest and wisest man in this village to tell us what to do", Mazi Ikenga spoke out.
IGODO was a old man who had lived for a long time that many had forgotten that he existed. He was often seen by the villagers as a mad man who lives all alone in a hut that was old itself.
"You are right, we have no other option, let us send for IGODO maybe he will know why we are being punished for a crime committed by our fore fathers", Mazi Okeke said after a minute of thought.
The Igwe then told three of his guards to go to IGODO'S hut and escort the old man back.
The three guards went out to carry out their orders.
Not long afterward they soon emerged with the old man into the Igwe's Palace. Everyone including the Igwe stood up and greated the old man, some shifting away so that they won't be touched by Igodo.
Igodo sat down on the ground in front of the Igwe and the elders on his raffle mat he had placed. He looked sadly at the dead child laying beside the Igwe's feet. When he had adjusted himself well he addresses them all.
"I know why I am here", he began to the bewilderment of them all. "The course of our predicament starts from this very place. Something which I could have prevented if I had know who's son he was".
"We don't understand you wise one. This curse we all are facing now were caused by our ancestors. Something we the generations today don't know how it all started. Umu-Igodo have been suffering from this curse for as long we can remember. Wise one, I have know you when I was barely three years of age till now you are still the same. We don't know how old you are, but we believe you might have a knowledge to our predicament. Please Igodo help us, we all are dying one after the other". Igwe Omenika pleaded to the old man.
"Hmm, Igwe" Igodo sigh then continued. "There is a story behind this curse Umu-Igodo is suffering from. Let me tell you a story..." a cough stopped him from continuing. The old man continued when the cough had subside. "No one knows what had really brought the curse, no one knows expect me".
"Please wise one, tell us how we came to generate this deadly curse from our ancestors". Omenika said eagerly.
"Four hundred years ago it all happened right here, where we all are sitting. A child of Amadioha was brought to your great, great, great, great, great grandfather........"
"Igwe I am innocent of this accusation being placed on me". Cried Ikemefuna as the palace guards held him down. He pleaded, but his plead fell on the deaf ears of the King and elders.
"I have nothing else to say to you Ikemefuna. You brought this upon your self when you decided to steal my Ofor. Tradition is tradition and there is no two ways about it. You must die". The Igwe of Umu-Igodo said showing no remorse.
Ikemefuna cried out the more.
Ikemefuna, an orphan which the gods, Amadioha had blessed turning him from a beggar to a wealthy man and started on he had five big barns of yams to his name, four plot of lands which he had planted Maize, cassava, yams etc. He was not only rich but good at heart. He had always help some of the villagers, he was loved by everyone. But unfortunately for him, not everyone loves him as he had always thought. Some group of jealous friends planned and they stole the Ofor from the Igwe's Palace with the help of the Igwe's personal guard and hid it in Kemefuna's hut. The guard went ahead and told the Igwe, when he couldn't find his Ofor. They were Seven in numbers including the personal guard to the Igwe that had carried out the dirty plan. He told the Igwe where he had seen the Ofor and who he thinks stole it. Earlier on, Ikemefuna had paid a homage to the Igwe, he had brought with him the best tubers of yams to the Igwe. The Igwe quickly summon up his three of his best warriors to go and search the hut of Ikemefuna. The Ofor was found hidden in an earthen pot in one of his yam barns, it was the guard who was among those that conspire to kill Ikemefuna that found it there, after all he was the one who had planted it in there in the first place.
They beat him all the way to the Igwe's Palace with the Ofor tied on him. He pleaded but no, no one cared to listened.
No one knows he was much innocent no one but the Seven culprits who were behind it.
"Igwe, I swear on the graves of my dead parents I did not steal your Ofor. I am innocent Igwe. The gods are my witness, I did not steal the Ofor". Ikemefuna tried his best to tell the Igwe of his innocent, but the Igwe did pay any attention to the young man in front of him rather he turned to the warriors who had brought him in and told them in a cold voice.
"Take him to Dike at once. Tell him what this man did, he knows what to do with the thief".
The tradition of Umu-Igodo was a scared one, that even a day old child knows of. If anyone was caught stealing he or she would be put to death immediately. But in this case Ikemefuna situation is far more worse. If anyone was caught with the Ofor he or she will be cut limb by limbs starting from the toes of the said person after that, they will be pounded on a scared Mortal that was dedicated to the gods of the land. After which his body will be burnt to ashes and finally his ashes will be throw into the evil forest.
And this was to be done to Ikemefuna who the igwe had believed he stole the Ofor.
Ikemefuna cries of plead filled the air as he was lead away to Dike. The seven who had being the brain to what was happening to Ikemefuna where rejoicing in their hearts.
But no one paid any attention on him.
The people who had felt pity for him and strongly believed that he was innocent was those he had helped. They were afraid the Igwe will put them to death if they plead on the behalf of Ikemefuna. So they kept quite.
Ikemefuna was dragged on the bushy path which lead to Dike's as they took him to where he would be slaughtered.
Dike had been waiting for them, he was sharpening his sword, he knew of their coming and was preparing.
Ikemefuna tried and worn out, blood pouring out of his wounds the warriors had afflicted on him, his voice hoarse as he used his last strength to look in the sky.
"You kill an innocent man!
You kill an innocent man!!!
But remember when the father comes for the son
Be prepared to answer
The blood you spill today shall cry for vengeance and none will be left out.
Amadioha! Amadioha!!! You alone knows I am innocent of what I am been accused of.
I place a curse upon this village,
Death will be their morning song
Tears will flow like a river
As they have afflicted me with pains so shall you afflicted them with pains
Umu-Igodo and its generations shall no peace
They will cry, beg, plead but no one will lift up the curse
I placed the curse on Dike only when he dies shall the curse be lifted
As I have spoken
Amadioha has spoken".
Ikemefuna said to the hearings of the warriors and Dike and gave up the ghost.
Dike was terrify as such a thing had never happen in all his whole years of living. People that were brought in here didn't die, rather he would be the one who will kill them while they are still breathing. This case was different, which means something. Dike stare at the warriors shaking his head sadly, "What happened here now shows that Ikemefuna is innocent. You all know that these had never happened before. The three of you will carry his body to the evil forest and buried it there, no one should say a word to anyone".
Read " Urenma (The River Goddess) " by the same author ( Ifeoma Isabella Okeke )
. Dike said and they all swore never to reveal what had happened to Ikemefuna.
"Amadioha knows that I innocent". Dike said looking up at the sky fearing at words Ikemefuna spoke out before he died.
They all went into the evil forest, Dike was with them. As they dug a part of the ground from the mouth of the evil forest, all were concentrating on digging the grave. After they have dug enough for the body to enter the ground they turned to take Ikemefuna's cold body and lay it inside, but to their surprise they couldn't find the body. They searched and searched around their environment but still yet they couldn't find the body. They gave up and journeyed back to the Village.
The 3 warriors all lied and told the Igwe that Dike had killed Ikemefuna as in the most gruesome way.
After Ikemefuna's death, things started happening mysteriously in the village. Fowls, and their crops started dying one after the other. The seven who had plotted Ikemefuna's death all died mysteriously and in the most painful ways. Those three warriors that had dragged Ikemefuna were not left out, they all died in a strange manner.
Dike was the cursed itself and he alone carries the curse. Throughout the four hundred years, Dike live. He can't be killed no matter how hard he tried to kill himself, he was immune to everything and sadly he watches as everything and everyone he knows dies as the new generations were born.
The curse manifest.
He couldn't do anything.
DIKE IGODO couldn't help the innocent people that were dying.
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