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Domain Chaos #8 – A Tinge of Hope

Ndubisi walked into the Land and Property Bureau with Igwe Okelue.

He had sat with him over the land issue and on seeing his late father among the signatories, he vowed to fight on his behalf.

The courageous Igwe had pleased Ndubisi by promising to stand by him. Ndubisi esteemed people who would see the truth and speak it without minding if their heads would be eaten in the process.

The spacious reception area was filled with people who waited in queue for their turn to be attended to.

They bowed and hailed him Igwe and made way for him to pass. He smiled and responded by patting each one of their bent backs with his traditional hand fan, made from tigger skin.

“Welcome, Igwe!” The receptionist greeted and Ndubisi wondered when she got to them. He watched her face beam with excitement.

The man she was attending to had stepped aside for Igwe without a grumble. Ndubisi thought that if Igwe were not a VIP, the same man would have bitten off his ear in annoyance. He had grown to learn that you dare not chance someone in a queue in Igbo land. Someone could fight to the drop of the blood over his rightful spot in a queue.

“Come with me Igwe.” The receptionist led them to the Director’s office.

“It’s that simple,” Ndubisi whispered and Igwe touched him with his Fan jokingly. He flinched. Igwe leaned towards him and whispered in his ear to wait for him at the door.

“Let me clear the ground first. Hand me the land documents.”

Ndubisi nodded and quickly dipped his hand into his briefcase. He brought out the original copy of the land documents and handed them to Igwe who gave him an assuring smile and walked into the office with the receptionist.

In less than five minutes Igwe came out with the Director. Ndubisi focused on their handshake and hoped to hear a positive news from Igwe.

“Everything is under control. He is my very good friend. Don’t worry. They’ll remove the quit notice tomorrow. But he said Eke would not go to rest but was sure he won’t challenge his own Igwe.”

“I didn’t know the brute is from your town Nibo” Nubisi said as both entered Igwe’s car.

“Yes!” He said, a little bit sad about Ndunisi’s choice of word. He ignored it. “He’s from the rebellious village- they believed Kingship should be rotated among the ten villages of Nibo, ” he said and shook his head.

“I dont know him well, ” he continued. “I have only seen him once in real life. I did see him on the television during one of his money spraying spree.” Igwe said and avoided telling Ndubisi about Eke’s visit to his palace. It would be unethical to do that.

“What next Igwe? ” Ndubisi asked when he was dropped of at his office.

I said don’t worry. Don’t worry yourself. Everything is under control. Eke won’t fight me. I’m his Igwe. Go to sleep.

Ndubisi bowed and hailed as the driver drove off.

Domain Chaos #6 – Buying The Chief

His Royal Highness, Igwe Arinze Ogelu was the ruling chief of Nibo Town. A vibrant light-skinned man though in his early 60’s. He looked majestic in his kingly outfit – a casual traditional robe with the pattern on tiger’s skin printed on it. His kingly traditional hat sat on his throne.

He was a friend to Ndubisi’s father and the one who sold to Ndubisi’s father, the Land which Hon Eke was claiming to be his.

It was around 8 am during the rainy season and Igwe was seated with his two closest friends and advicers in his palace. They usually came to the palace early in the morning for early morning prayers with colanut.

They had finished the prayers and were laughing at one of the jokes from Nze Marthias Okechukwu, when the guard informed the Igwe that some three men were waiting to see him.

“Who are they?” he asked wondering if he had any appointment with three men.

“They said they are from Hon. Eke, Igwe.” the servant said bowing for the fouth time to show respect.

“Bring them in, ” the servant bowed again and left.

His friends stood up as he walked to the throne still in a cheerful mood, picked his hat and wore it to welcome his unexpected visitors.

“Igweeeeeee, ” The three men bowed their greeting.

“Welcome! Sit.” The sat in the three in one cushion adjacent to the throne. Another three in one cushion was empty opposite them.

“What brings you to Igwe’s palace.” One of them stood to speak. He wore a smile which the Igwe couldn’t understand.

“Igwe, Hon. Eke sends us. He appreciates your efforts to keep our town in good state. It all takes a courageous ruler to be able to achieve all you have been able to achieve.” One of them who looked like their leader spoke up.

“I thank God for helping me. I’m glad someone notices and appreciates my efforts. Tell him I’m grateful for his encouraging message.”

“Igweeee.” He bent close to Igwe who gave him a pat on the back. “Thank you Igwe for accepting the message. Hon Eke also sends you a gift to show his appreciation.” the speaker knelt and presented him with something in a small bag.

“Thank you but I won’t accept it.” Igwe looked at the gift item but refused to touch it.

“With due respect Igwe, why? Have we done anything wrong?” The three of them looked at each other.

“You have not done anything wrong, young men. Why has your master not come to present his gift by himself?”

“Igwe we apologise for his absence. He’s a very busy right now and it’s hard for him to come by himself..”

“Please go back to him and tell him that I do not receive gifts in absentia. Tell him to come by himself. Thank him for the gift anyway.” They were highly surprised that Igwe has refused to even check what the gift was; a brand new Honda CR-V worth more than 10 million naira.

“Please Igwe, receive this gift from us on his behalf. It pleases Hon. Eke to give you a luxury car as a New Year gift. Please accept it. I’ll bring him here before tomorrow runs out.” the speaker persuaded but Igwe had made up his mind.

“Look, young men, I understand how you feel. All you need to do is go back to him, tell him what I said.” A servant came in again to inform Igwe that some visitors were waiting.

“Not again.” Igwe muttered. He slept late and woke up very early because of his visitors. He needed some rest.

“Who are they?”

“The Igwe Cabinet, Igwe,” Igwe looked at his time, a wall clock ticking away by the side of his throne.

“Complete?”

“Twelve of them, Igwe, ” the servant bowed.

“Tell them to give me some time. I’ll join them as soon as possible.” While the servants took his leave, Igwe turned to his visitors.

“Young men, please you must excuse me. I have important meeting with my Cabinet. Tell Hon. Eke that I appreciate his kind gesture and would like to see him in person.” With this, he took his leave.

© Florence Ezekafor

Domain Choas 2 – The Offer

Engr Ndubisi was worried sick and to pre-empt his brain cells from popping, he stood up, secured his sweaty hands in his pockets, strolled to his office glass window and allowed his bloodshot eyes to scan what he thought was the pretty messed-up world.

His focus was on the people before him hurrying to God-knows-where. He mused about Hon. Eke, who had called him two days following the visit of his lawyer and had offered him One Hundred and Fifty Million Naira to leave the so-called land property of his, purchase land somewhere else and build a better house.

“I know this property we’re talking about belongs to me Engr. but I’m offering you money for it. I don’t want to make trouble with you. Neither do I want to force you out of that land nor take you to court. I just want peace to reign. Take this money from me and give peace a chance. This money can buy you more plots of land than you occupy. Take it Engr.” he had pleaded like a very good man but Ndubisi could not be swindled by his grandiloquent mawkish words.

He had been annoyed to the medulla of his being instead. Who did Hon Eke think he was? Schmo?

Matters had become worse when everyone in Engr Ndubisi’s family began to say that Hon. Eke was a very good man and kind too for offering to give such amount. They praised his goodwill and non-aggressive approach. Ndubisi was tormented by their incomprehension.

“Going to the court with a billionaire is not wise Ndubisi. I beg you, collect the money he’s offering and stay away from trouble.” his mum had advised.

That had sounded familiar, Hon. Eke’s a lawyer had said the same thing, “sell the land to my client and stay out of trouble.”

What trouble?

Would Eke make trouble with him over something that belonged to him? Had they all been blinded to the fact that he didn’t place his property out there for sale? Did they not see the turbulence, Hon. Eke had stirred?

If he were to collect that money, he would regret it forever and he was sure his father would not be happy wherever he was.

So, as he stood at his office window, he found himself in tenterhooks – how would he fight Hon. Eke?

He had contacted many lawyers to seek their counsel and support, but they all had discouraged him from fighting.

“What courage does a fly have to fight a lion with? What strength? Take that money from him and stay out of trouble.” One of them had said and he thought cowardice played in his head.

He walked back to his desk, touched and felt everything on it absent-mindedly – deep in thoughts, before walking to his chair.

After rolling the ergonomic chair from left to right and round, he picked up the phone, looked at it for a few seconds and dialled the number of his family lawyer, Barrister Collins Ikedi.

Barrister Collins Ikedi was retired lawyer in his late seventies. He had been a friend of Ndubisi’s father and a very kind and useful one but he didn’t think he would be strong enough to support him.

He had not talked to him in a while and had said nothing about the problem at hand.

He should have but he thought a retiree won’t serve. Nonetheless, he was sure Barrister Ikedi would give good counsel on how to go about the present chaos.

When he didn’t pick the call, he dialled again and waited.

To be continued…