PRICE OF WAR…. Barr.Felix Jones Osimerha

PRICE OF WAR…. Barr.Felix Jones Osimerha
This is the EDC Primary School headmaster’s residence that is still standing but uninhabited now. In the mid 1960s, it was housing the headmaster and was one of the good “modern” houses in Ogbona village. Most houses were thatched roof and very susceptible to fire from the naked Ugburi which was a stick of chaff made from palm nuts after palm oil have been extracted from them. I remember one early night in the mid 1960s, how the zinc roof house of Papa Okhakuobomhe was engulfed in fire. We rushed to the scene and watched from Papa Ighiegwe’s house adjacent to the burning house. We heard that petrol was being poured into a basin when someone brought in the naked light that ignited the petrol. We heard shouts that the fire be curtailed as it can cause all the houses in the village to be burnt down, as the zinc sheets will turn red and be flying to other houses. We the children believed this story and feared that our houses will also be burnt.
One late afternoon, a monkey ran out from the direction of the present house of Papa Odalumhe and it was vigorously pursued by young men and it ran across the sticks fence of the EDC primary school into the school. It was hotly pursued and it climbed one of the palm trees that were in the area of the school closed to the school garden. That day, the palm tree was fell and the monkey killed. In Ogbona it was regarded that if an animal strayed into the village and killed, it must be taken to the eldest man, who after consultation with other elders and the gods, a decision is taken on what to do to the animal. On this occasion, I learnt the monkey was given to the youths. On another day during a burial ceremony at Ivhianaga center where a small roundabout is today, an Antelepe strayed into the venue and it was pursued and killed. Many years later I saw a beautiful animal of the deer family with seven different colors killed in the same manner. It was brought to my maternal father, Papa Momoh Umole who was the eldest man in Ogbona at the time. I asked my grandfather, the name of the animal and he said he does not know the name and confessed that in his 100 years on earth as at that time, he had never seen such an animal. I was emotional and shedded tears, why such a beautiful animal much smaller than the Antelepe was killed because it strayed into the village. I was made to understand that it was a bad omen for a bush animal to stray into the village. Such animal is called Eliamhi itsape and it breeds trouble. General Bolivia captured this Eliamhi Itsape in his hit song “Obanor” General Boliviia started the song with” Obanor ye, Eliamhi Itsape lor konemho na, emhorele or relena oooh” (pardon my poor vernacular).
At Ivhianaga Quarters center opposite Papa Esue’s house was a large tree we called Obada and logs of wood were arranged under it where men relaxed from the scorching sun after the farm work or on Ekhue market days when many did not go to the farms. The Obada tree was subsequently fell and there lies the intersections of the three roads with a small roundabout today.
I can still remember that the logs and arranged wood under the Obada tree is called “Ogidigba” and there was a similar one in front of Papa Okhamera’s one storey building in Ivhiorevho quarters.
Yea I remember the few one storey buildings “upstairs” in Ogbona then. There were the Anetekhai’s upstairs, Inaede’s upstairs, iyornagbe Eghieye’s upstairs, Okhamera’s upstairs, Ikhane’s Upstairs, Omadimhe’s upstairs, Orbih’s upstairs, Asekome (Akaka) ‘s upstairs, Abu’ s upstairs, Anabor’s upstairs, Itsuokor’s upstairs and another behind present day Anaweokhai ‘s house and that was the upstairs, a youth jumped down from through the window and we saw him then as a superman. I still know this youth who is a grandfather now………..just living the memories of the past in Ogbona.
Barr.Felix Jones Osimerha

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