ACHIKE TELLS A STORY
The president of the council left the palace around 8.am that day. Edokye was a friend to one of the elders. He met that friend of his on his way to the house and he told him what happened at the palace so he rushed home to tell his father about it. He was anxious when he got home especially the time he remembered all that his father told him about his lost siblings.
‘Dad, how many times do you want me to continue singing this song?’ he enquired, ‘It is high time we left this Island. The gods themselves are not happy with King Zuma’s rule and you know it.’ He had been singing the same song over the years. Edokye felt that it was essential they sought greener pastures elsewhere. ‘You told me I have twelve siblings but I am the only surviving son now. You told me that least did you expect my survival.’ he said. ‘Mum is dead now, and you are gradually catching up with old age. You need a place that is full of comfort and convenience to spend the rest of your life on mother earth.’ he continued, ‘Dad you need a serene environment to make life better, let’s leave this Island please.’
Anuya, his father was disturbed with his son’s brilliant words. He realized that it was essential they spent the rest of their years in a peaceful environment. Zidi Island used to be the most peaceful Island at that time. But ever since king Zuma ascended the throne, it had been the other way round. Most of the inhabitants of Zidi were leaving for
greener pastures but Anuya was optimistic about changes in the future.
The following day was one of the saddest days in the history of Zidi Island as king Zuma went about asking married men to release their wives for him to marry. All the inhabitants of Zidi Island were against him. There was one thing about king Zuma; if anybody at that time manifested his hatred for him, he was either killed or ostracized.
Boby was a young man who refused to release his wife to the guards the king sent, so he was sent to the palace. Everybody was present to witness what was going to happen. It was only Boby who refused to let his wife go. The rest of the men who were cowards didn’t hesitate to let their wives go. When king Zuma arrived at the scene, the hearts of the villagers trembled with fear. His facial expression alone told them a sad story.
‘Young man, how dare you challenge my orders?’ he asked. ‘Have you forgotten that there is none on this land who can refuse my request?’ he asked again. Boby didn’t utter any word. King Zuma continued, ‘what I want is what I do. I ostracized all those I believed were arrogant. Anybody who disobeys my orders can’t see the light of dawn the following day.’ He took a deep breath and then continued, ‘if you die, you can’t challenge my orders any more. Arrogant creature like you; since when did you learn to be arrogant?’ he enquired once more but Boby didn’t mind him. ‘When you die and you are fortunate to meet your ancestors, ask them about the foundation of arrogance.
Satan himself, although he was arrogant, king Pharaoh was more arrogant than him.’ he asked, ‘does it mean that Satan is still not the father of arrogance, what does this suggests to you?’ Everybody was looking at Boby. Fear suddenly descended upon them. They knew that king Zuma wouldn’t let him go unpunished.
‘Yes go ahead and execute me.’ said Boby. Everybody turned to look at him. They thought he was going to plead for mercy and he was rather asking king Zuma to go ahead and execute him. He continued,‘we are tired of you. I promise you, you will not go unpunished. Our ancestors will never forgive you.’ he asked, ‘do you know the number of people you executed this year?’ Everybody turned to look at him in disbelief.
Even those they believed were the strongest on the land had never spoken to king Zuma like that. Especially Mayan who was a lion hunter.Boby realized that all eyes were on him but that didn’t stop him from saying what he had planned to say over the years when his father was executed for the same reason. ‘Their souls will definitely come after you. You kill without reasons; don’t you know that they equally have the right to life?’ he enquired. The executioner was impatient then.
He continued, ‘I married my wife and I paid her pride wealth so I can’t allow her to marry an irresponsible king like you.’ The crowd yelled but that didn’t stop him.‘I would rather die than do such a thing in life.’ Silence descended upon the entire Zidi Island. It was the first of its kind a young man boldly aired out what he had in mind.
Boby was not afraid to die. He believed it was better to die than to watch injustice prevail. Nobody had spoken to king Zuma like that before. The furious king tried to speak but no word came out. Boby, who was kneeling in the middle of the crowd stood on his feet to show that he wasn’t afraid to die. It was disrespect to the king for a criminal to stand on his feet before judgement was pronounced.
‘Executioner, do your work.’ he ordered.‘Do not spare him for a moment, and make sure these are his last words in this world.’ he continued, ‘whatever he still has to say or to discuss with anybody should be done after his demise. Perhaps his spirit will come back and discuss that.’ He turned to walk away. ‘If he is fortunate to meet his ancestors, they will tell him about the origin of arrogance.’ he continued, ‘this is the price you have to pay for your arrogance; your skin shall be used to make a drum, and the people of this land shall dance to the tune daily.
Thereafter, your dead body shall not be buried. It shall be burnt so that your soul will never rest in peace.’ He was so annoyed that he didn’t even know what punishment to issue to him. ‘Executioner, if I close my eyes and open and still see this idiot, you will regret the day you were born.’
The moment he said this Boby's head was on the floor as if the executioner was waiting for the king to finish with what he was saying.
The crowd yelled. Everybody sympathized with him. Some of those who went to the palace that morning could not eat. They wondered why king Zuma was so wicked.
To be continued................
Source: The Author/ ABU ABDUL GANIYU