I, my brother and his friend narrowly escaped death yesterday, at about 10am. The unimaginable and most shocking experience happened in a community called Agbarha in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State of Nigeria.
We (myself and my immediate younger brother) left Port Harcourt for the Village to meet our father on an urgent matter. On reaching Ughelli main town, we decided to go check on my brother’s friend, who took us in his car to our native hometown, since we used public transport from PHC. It was as we were embarking on this short trip from Ughelli main town to Orogun, that we had this ugly and most unfortunate experience with some uncivilized, primitive, callous, barbaric, inhuman humans.
While driving through the main road in Agbarha, we saw from a safe distance, a wrapper wrapped round a somewhat triangle-like object, standing about 20 feet tall. We inquired to know what that was, though we perceived it was a juju (idol). We were told by my brother’s friend who happened to be the one driving the car, that they just finished their juju festival and that the strange object represents the juju.
At that very moment we decided to make a U-turn and take another route to our ancient hometown (Orogun), when all of a sudden there appeared a young man beckoning on us to drive through. According to the man, it is safe to drive through the side of the road, since the juju is covering part of the road. We didn’t know the chap in question was on a mission to lead us to a death trap. And this was right in front of the king’s palace. A king that’s supposedly educated.
We, being ignorant of what the juju stands for, the dos and don’ts, felt it was okay to take some pictures to better narrate what we saw. We started taking some shots, and while we were about it, we weren’t told to stop, that picture taking is sacrilegious to their juju. Before we could say Jack Robinson, some angry looking men, who obviously are jobless and uneducated, rushed up to us with bottles and stuffs and started giving us the beating of our lives. While they were at it, some of them said they should ‘escort us’ in Urhobo language, which means they should take us to the evil forest and kill us. At this time they had already ‘discharged’ (stolen) our phones, iPad and wallets.
At this juncture, what was running through my mind was the Aluu 4 experience, the innocent young men mobbed by similar persons like our unfortunate hosts. I got thinking, “is this how I’m going to leave this world? Am I gonna die alongside my junior brother?” At a point in time, I forgot about me, and I was thinking about my brother, and I was like, “why did my brother make this journey with me?”
It was at this moment that there came a sudden twist in our ordeal. God changed the story, saying, “you won’t be killed on the resurrection morning”. Those that wanted to kill us started speaking a new language in our favour. They said we won’t be killed anymore, but that we would have to pay for 3 goats, some strong wines, with which they would appease their god, the juju. And as God would have it, my bro had some reasonable amount on him, and we bought our lives back.
I want to say thank you to God almighty and to Jesus, for his resurrection power.
This story is in memory of the 4 innocent young men killed at Aluu. And I pray that no one, not even my enemy, experience this in Jesus’ name. Amen!