HOW NNEWI DEITIES WERE FRIGHTENED INTO CONVERSION BY COLONIALISTS

Discussion in 'Igbo Talk' started by Izu, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. Izu

    Izu Admin Staff Member

    They were all assembled at Old Nkwo market open arena later renamed Nnewi Triangle; the very same place the government of Anambra excised three years ago to build a shopping mall.
    It was taking ages for their August visitors to arrive but none amongst the congregation had a sufficient manhood to leave the venue in annoyance over the insulting lateness by a group of magical albinos.
    How could anyone allow annoyance to attract annihilation of his family or his town?
    The horrid stories of how the albinos destroyed, desecrated and sacked the most powerful deity and revered shrine of all Igbos located in Arochukwu within 30 days made even all the native doctors in Nnewi present appoint themselves the provosts at the gathering, ensuring that nobody left the venue until the whiteman arrived.
    All the Isi Obis or village heads in Nnewi were there seated according to their titles and rank. They were all seating behind Chief Nwosu Mgboli who took the Ozo title of Ezeodumegwu. He was the political leader of all Nnewi; a reagent of a sort as his cousin, the natural Obi Nnewi was still young. He was the only living Onuo Ora or field marshal wearing his Ikpo Asato or eight bells as insignia. He had led Nnewi and particularly his Otolo village to many successful wars. Even the natural Obi had to defer to him till 1945 when he died to ascend his throne.

    Major Moorehouse and his entourage arrived later in the afternoon on that fateful day in February 1905. This was a repeat visit as he had met Ezeodumegwu in November 1904 to obtain the surrender of Nnewi to colonial rule. This one was a follow up and a formal public acclamation of surrender and a show of force. He didn't waste time in his speech as he had sent an advance party with his demands.
    Ezeodumegwu rose to respond to the interpreted speech. Though defeated without a fight, he still had a stomach full of ego of a general and a royalty. He presented the agricultural levy which he would rather refer to as a gift to Major Moorehouse. He also showed the whiteman the heap of the guns used by Nnewi warriors which the whiteman insisted must be destroyed. He assured the whiteman that Nnewi was a peace loving town and would not give any trouble to the colonial government since it was agreed that he and other chiefs in the village would play a role in the new government. He then asked and obtained the assurance that the Nnewi deities would not be destroyed but would be allowed to co-exist with that of the whiteman.
    Ezeodumegwu then assured Major Moorehouse that the leaders of the town had earmarked lands for him to build his operational headquarters and places to worship his own deity. Nnewi's emissaries to Onitsha had revealed that the whiteman had shrines of worship too.

    The gift of the land was a poisoned chalice. The leaders of the town after doing a reconnaissance on the whiteman and his firepower came to a home truth that it would be suicidal to oppose them. How could they, when the whiteman and his troops made a mincemeat of Abam, Ohafia and Item warriors, the very same warriors Nnewi villages sometimes hired as mercenaries?
    It was a general consensus to challenge the very powerful Nnewi gods to prove their mettle. The whiteman would be given the evil forests of some of the powerful gods of the town to build his house and those of his god. It was expected that the whiteman and his fellow interlopers would be struck with strange diseases by Nnewi gods. They were expected to either die or run away from Nnewi in awe. It would be a huge victory and Nnewi would become normal again.
    Major Moorehouse couldn't fathom how a town as big as Nnewi would look happy while surrendering to a foreign force. He smelt a rat. He ordered his accompanying army to remain on red alert to foil any surprises. He also ensured that the natives tested the food items presented by the town to him as a levy. It could have been poisoned.

    That was how Akwu Udo (the evil forest of Udo deity) Akwu Nwaeke, Akwu Egbo etc. were given to the whiteman to build places of worship hoping that Udo, Nwaeke, Egbo deities would do the expected- to kill the invaders.
    Our people were careful in ensuring that lands given for courts, administrative offices and prison were not that lethal as our people would be required to visit those places often. It was a taboo for an Nnewi indigene to enter or sleep in an evil forest.
    Till date, the deities of Nnewi are still paying for their inability to scare the whiteman and his god away as expected by our people. They seemed to have been frightened too. Or, have they too been converted to Christianity?
     

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