Ichie Okafor Ude returned around 7:45pm that evening.
From his trouser pocket, he produced the list of items he was told to bring to Nsukka. The Chief priest of that Nsukka Shrine didn’t give him a date to come up with those things, however, he told Ichie to do as quick as possible since My brother was being tortured every five minutes.
Yes, According to Ichie Okafor Ude, My brother was being tortured by the kidnappers every five minutes.
He said the Priest told him that the kidnappers tied my brother’s hands and legs together and hit him every five minutes.
“The Priest also asked if his parents are still alive and i told him that only the mother is alive” He said i must tell the mother that they are torturing his son” Ichie said.
After carefully considering what Ichie said, i told him to go home to his house.
“I can’t go home until i tell your mother what the priest said. He warned me not to go home to my house without telling your mother about what happened” He insisted.
“Ichie, it is me who sent you to Nsukka, not my mother” I said, yet he refused to go home.
I was alerted by his insistence on telling my mother what the Dibia said.
Of course, being a fast free thinker, i was able to immediately find out why the Dibia insisted on telling my mother that her son was being totured. He knew that women were very easy to convince.
A lot of things were about to be triggered if i allowed Ichie to get to my mother before me.
On hearing that her son was being tortured, the woman could go berserk and demand that i immediately provide the money for whatever the native doctor wanted.
It was about to become a war of wits and unfortunately for Ichie and his ally, it was a kind of war i enjoyed fighting.
I was lucky enough to have seen Ichie on his way to our compound. He would have gone there to announce his message and that would have been bad for me.
“Ichie, my mother is not at home now. You must wait somewhere so that i can go and bring her home” I said.
Ichie said he would wait in our compound until My mother returned.
“Alright, let me make a call first. Then we will go down together” I said.
My compound had two gates in opposite directions. The Big gate where the Vehicles used was in the South side while the smaller gate was in the North side.
The Smaller gate was mostly used for people to walk into the compound since the rest of the extended family was in the North side. The smaller gate was specially put there for easy interaction with the rest of the Village.
The South Gate was where we created a new road into the compound out of nowhere. It was mostly used by vehicles and by foot on a very few occasions.
Since Ichie Okafor Ude insisted that he waited for my mother in our compound, i had to find a way to manipulate the entire process. That was where the gates came in.
I shifted away from Okafor Ude and called My mother.
“Where are you?” I asked.
She said she was at home.
I told her to come to the Village hall. Our Village hall was at the the South Side of our compound, Very close to the South gate.
I knew that my mother would use the big Gate in the south to go to the hall.
Back in the car, i drove down towards our compound with Ichie Okafor Ude.
The list he brought from Nsukka was sitting on top of the dashboard.
When we got to the road that led to the small gate in the north side, i told Ichie to get down and use the small gate.
He walked out of the car and headed towards the gate.
My phone rang at the same time and when i answered it, My mother asked where i was. She said she was standing in front of the hall.
I drove down to the big gate and met Mama.
First, i told her that i sent Okafor Ude to Nsukka and that he had returned.
“The man returned from Nsukka this night and insisted on seeing you. I think the native doctor told him to tell you something. He is at the compound now and he must be waiting for you. What i want you to do is to ignore whatever he will tell you. Just tell him that you will discuss whatever it is with me” I said.
When my mother returned to the compound, i drove back to the road.
It was around 10:30pm when i returned back to the compound, the woman was crying.
There was no need asking why, i knew that Ichie Okafor Ude would poison her mind.
Those tears running down her cheeks was one of the things i didn’t want to see on her face. I wanted her to be as strong as she could.
Rather than asking why she was crying, i told her to stop first.
When she stopped, I said, “I went somewhere this afternoon. The Priest i met there, said that Albert is still alive and that the people holding him are giving him good food”.
She suddenly looked up at me.
“But Okafor Ude said they are torturing him” She responded.
“Don’t mind him, this is the list he brought from there too. He told you that so that we can do quick and give them money to buy these things on the list. They won’t buy anything, they will share the money” I said.
After thinking for a while, my mother agreed with me. She said that a Pastor somewhere in Enugu had also told her that they were treating his son good.
Unfortunately, my mother was looking for what to believe. It was the same case with every other gullible Nigerian and Africans at large. We generally never made good attempts to find out the secrets behind anything. We simply believed in it which was unfortunately the lazy way of going about everything.
Since it had become a game of wits between me and the wolves around the village, it was time to counter and bury their ideas.
I was the master of wits when it mattered. Now it had landed on my doorstep and it was time to let the people know that i leant something from Europe.
In the well written list Okafor Ude brought from Nsukka were;
1- A cow (to be killed for sacrifice)
2- 200, 000 cash. (To be used in buying Eagle’s feather, Lizard’s tail, Tortoise’s scale; a blind rat and an unidentified human part).
3- I must come to Nsukka with my Mother or at least an elderly man from my village.
4- We must come very early in the morning when the spirits were in good moods.
5- I must not go close to any woman in her menstruation period atleast a day to our visit.
That was it, they all always add something Strange to make it look real. A woman’s menstruation was part of the life he was living but it had suddenly become an abomination.