By Ekanpou Enewaridideke
Stories in their variegated colours about both biotic and abiotic factors have been told by the village boy – stories sometimes categorised as either phenomenally bad or good depending on the interpretational wavelength from which the stories are read and analysed. Interpretatively favoured or disfavoured, these stories fly everywhere on variegated wings like the famed ‘coat of many colours’, yet no story has been told about the man Igbadiwei Macdonald – a man full of untold stories, a man escorted by stories everywhere, a man even the stories have grown weary of ‘following’ because the stories are neither narratively touched nor narratologically massaged.
Away from the monotonous Covid-19-filled songs of city life into the full arms of a calm and serene village where I had my primary education, I was temporarily cut off from the ever intrusive, surging, world of communication. It was a natural communication embargo placed on every visitor by the calm and serene village. In my Oyangbene world where I was communicatively barred except I took a walk to a designated communication centre owned by Mr. Ferebo Fulpower where an antenna connected to a mobile phone had the communicative key to the world beyond the calm and serene world.
In Oyangbene where I had primary school education in 1988, communicative interruptions from the city were at the zero level with regard to my own mobile phone. It is the best place to retire to when one has a vision to ramble in the forest paths, engage in mystical meditations and appreciate nature without telephone conversation interruptions from the infernal city where ‘everything dey put money…where even vegetables planted by Izonebi increase their price without his own authorisation'(King Alfred Izonebi, 2021).Yet there was an intrusion on this calm and serene world from unexpected corner
Oyangbene community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State was where I recently saw 1st December 2021 after being circumstantially cut off from the sight of the first day of December every year after many years reasoning historically from 1988. Mystically, it was my habit to witness every first day of the month of December in Oyangbene. For many years the constraints of fiendish urban life barricaded this mystically gratifying and vivifying annual experience, though as cosmically decreed and packaged, I got this mystical exercise performed ritualistically in this 2021 recently with access to all the accumulated benedictions from the crudely interrupted years.A wonderful spiritual reconnection and reunion indeed!
Held indescribably spellbound by the pleasures of the calm and serene world, the reactivated mystical exercise and the hospitality of Oyangbene people who treated me to a daily diet of fresh fishes as if I were placed on diet or regimen by a medical doctor, the village excitingly became a place where trunkfish, featherback, snakehead, moonfish,African bony tongue, crayfish and lobsters became memorably ‘APODU’ for the village boy.With a remarkable generosity and hospitality, some crustaceans and molluscs flew into my hands from the great Oyangbene people,and with consuming dexterity, they were promptly delivered into my waiting stomach. ‘Bingeing’ my life away on all the edible goodies from the river that generously came my way in Oyangbene, an invasive, intrusive, obstructive, telephonic force appeared suddenly and mercilessly killed the joys of my ‘Oyangbenetude’. The provoking telephonic intrusion came from High Chief Hon. Igbadiwei Macdonald of Bayelsa State.
Igbadiwei Macdonald grew weary like the weary sun plodding her way home after a hectic day, having called my number many times without response. He reached out to Mr. Nemiowei and resentfully unburdened his mind on his inability to reach me communicatively. Mr. Nemiowei reached Mrs. Lucky Ekotoro Ekanpou and Mrs. Lucky Ekotoro Ekanpou correspondingly reached Mr. Ferebo Fulpower’s communication centre in Oyangbene rather frantically. Fulpower raced to call me to his centre from where I was rambling alone in the forest interspersed with meditations. I spoke to Mrs. Lucky E. Ekanpou and detailed her to give Fulpower communication centre’s number to Hon. Macdonald. Within the twinkle of an eye the man called Macdonald telephoned and urged me to come over to Yenagoa city immediately. In Macdonald’s voice I saw a sense of urgency, uncommunicated love and worries springing from the hell he went through in his attempt to reach me on phone.
High Chief Igbadiwei Macdonald, the annoying architect of the invasive telephonic intrusion on my ‘Oyangbenetude’, was the Commissioner Three of Bayelsa State Assembly Service Commission but now an elected member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly representing constituency 4 in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, House of Committee Chairman on Justice and Judiciary, Public Petitions and Ijaw affairs, member of Seven House Standing Committees who was born on 16 June 1967 into the royal family of King Simon James Igbadiwei and Mrs. Duoboye Igbadiwei (nee Itiza Mienbi of Egbesubiri-Ama and Aguobiri Ama of ancient Ijaw Gbaraun Kingdom of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. A high Chief and King maker, the Ibe Bebefiyewei and traditional prime minister of Gbaraun kingdom, the Ibe Ebidouwei of Olodiama kingdom, Edo State, the Ijaw Iye Miyenkirimowei of Gbaramatu kingdom, a prospective master degree holder in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, an NCE holder in English/History, is a full-fledged barrister who studied law at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology. The man popularily and endearingly called Macdo today enjoys the historical reputation and placement as one of the accredited pioneer facilitators of the yearly pilgrimage of Ijaw traditional rulers and other other religious bodies to Agadagbabou Forest traditionally viewed as the HOLY LAND of Ijaw nation.
It is known to everybody that relentless opposition to exploitation, deprivation and dehumanisation in any space, philantropism and sensitivity to the plight of the poor through free medical care and free Jamb forms provided for people in his constituency and religious fervour demonstrably geared towards the documentation, popularisation and promotion of ‘Egbesuism’ are said to be the characterisations of the man called Hon. High Chief Igbadiwei Macdonald. It was this Honourable Macdonald who broke the protocols on my end and cut short the sacredness of my Oyangbene pleasure trip without any apology offered to either the hospitable Oyangbene people or the village boy.
The only 75-horse-powered speedboat that commercially journeys between Oyangbene and Warri had already left for Warri and would be back only in the evening for another Warri journey the next day. How to leave Oyangbene to Warri and from there to Yenagoa became an enigma. The surest way to reach Warri that day for onward progression to Yenagoa was to go canoeing.
For Macdonald I canoed for many hours and reached Warri. On arrival in Warri details of my hotel accommodation in Yenagoa had already stormed my mobile phone. The details also included a special car despatched to Warri to take me straight to Yenagoa to be brought back to Warri later after the engagement. With the hotel accommodation details and the special car chauffeured, the anger built up from the intrusion on my ‘Oyangbenetude’ began to dance the dance steps of ebb tide in Oyangbene River.And rather intrusively,in dark outlines and indistinct thoughts, I began to see ‘His Excellency Kingsley Burutu Otuaro’s Morning, Evening and King Izonebi’s Metamorphosis’ as a new dugout beached to be launched into Oyangbene River.
Right before the very eyes of Hon. Macdonald I wore the garment of confrontational interrogation like that character Sergeant Ololo in my novel, SPIKED BEYOND SPIKES, who sounded disgustingly inquisitorial in his interrogation of Endorobou, another character in the novel unjustifiably imprisoned over his anti-injustice activist movements in Southern oporoza. Why did you intrusively cut short my meditations and rambling in Oyangbene, High Chief Macdonald?
Frank and brief like a brief candle, Hon.Macdonald said his stories had grown in proportions proportional to the proportions of their growth. Famed for his oratory, vigour, fervour and deep knowledge in ‘Egbesuism’, it was his vision to be more vigorous and enthusiastic in pragmatic language in the legislative business translated into projects for the masses at the grassroots level. His legislatively influenced projects in his constituency were specifically the projects he wanted me to tour and tell as storied stories of legislative achievements from 2019 till date. To Macdonald, he chose me for the tour because I am a story teller, and that the stories are rooted in the village which require a village storyteller to tell the stories with all the narrative stylistic flourishes and nuances to songs, drums and dances on the village square. Could this be another Ozidi story to be told dramatically for seven days?
The raging anger from time-intrusion hitherto built up over the intrusion of my ‘Oyangbenetude’ vanished like harmattan fog when the morning sun descends on it furiously. I demanded a boat be provided for the confirmatory tour of the projects. 200-hourse-powered speedboat began chugging at the waterside in preparation for the journey to the project sites located in different communities. I smartly took my seat on the speedboat and just when the speedboat was about to communicate in the river in accelerated language, a panicky call struck my phone. I signalled the speedboat driver to hold on awhile to enable me respond to my call. It was an emergency call that demanded my presence in Oyangbene that very day. Alarm quickly descended on my face though not verbalised.
Psychologically, Macdonald decoded the whole thing like a cryptologist even without my words. For any cryptologist the codes were algebraically written on my face. Macdonald pronounced the journey to the project sites cancelled and then I whispered into his ears the story behind the emergency call from Oyangbene. Immediately he became more alarmed and worried than myself and provided the logistics for my journey back to Oyangbene to tackle the emergency call.
The proposed tour of project sites did not come to pass. For me it was a mystifying double intrusion. First it was Hon. Macdonald who intruded and killed my meditations and rambling in Oyangbene. Then at Yenagoa waterside it was the village boy who intruded and disrupted the tour. On one hand Hon. Macdonald is an annoying intruder, and on the other hand I am an annoying intruder too.The two annoying intruders now totally lost as to who should be blamed for the intrusive disruption of the journeys!
Even at this moment I am ‘flabbergasted’ and ‘nonplussed’ like Macaulay Arogbo and Arekumo Ferebo, the two great wrestling champions in Oyangbene who are always grammatically attracted to the words ‘flabbergasted’ and ‘nonplussed’ in an uncanny way. Must my obstructed journey to the project sites have been masterminded by the gods of Oyanbou Forest who must have been provoked by the telephonic invasion of my ‘Oyangbenetude’, my sacred pleasure visit to my mystical roots after many years of separation from the first-day-of-December ritual annually performed in Oyangbene?Then this must be a REPRISAL from the gods of Oyanbou Forest mystically presented as a punitive action for my sudden flight from Oyangbene on that fateful day – a punitive REPRISAL not even dampened and mitigated by High Chief Macdonald’s 6-December-2021 pilgrimage to Agadagbabou Forest for spiritual purification, re-integration,regeneration, reconnection, reinforcement, resuscitation,reconstruction, recalibration, renewal, rearmament, remuneration, empowerment, capacitation, ‘vivification’ and restructured spiritual equilibrium?
Enewaridideke, Writes from Akparemogbene, Delta State.
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