…warns that mysterious deaths may befall community
Following the recent killing of the ancestral python (Eke Nworie) the Owerri deity after which the popular Nworie river is named, the Chief Priest superintending over the five autonomous communities in Owerri, Ejiogu Reginald Kelechi Monday stormed the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE), Owerri The Chief Priest has gone to the institution to deliver a tender palm frond (Omu) which traditionally conveys the message that danger looms and urgent action is needed. Our correspondent also gathered that the Chief Priest issued a 7-day ultimatum to the University the commence process of cleansing and ap-peasing the gods or holds themselves responsible for whatever befalls the AIFCE community. About a fortnight ago, students of the institution killed the ancestral python, an act considered a serious sacrilege, within the Owerri community who are the host communities of the College. Our correspondent gathered that earlier, in a letter to the management of AIFCE, the Chief Priest demanded that “the College management must appear before him (the Chief Priest) for cleansing upon receipt of the notice”. Speaking with the Chief Priest, Ejiogu Reginald Kelechi, he told our correspondent that the issue was worsened by the fact that the killing of the ancestral python happened within the period of ‘Oru Owerre’ festival, a period considered as the ‘week of peace’ when no Owerri man is permitted to quarrel, fight whatmore kill. He said: “If after seven days, the authorities of AIFCE refuses to do the needful, there will be nothing left for us to do as a people and as the custodian of our culture, but to leave them to whatever fate that befalls them. “The authorities would be running the risk of facing mysteriois deaths among staff and students of the institution and when it comes to that, the AIFCE management should be held respinsible because they were warned in good time. “And for us as Owerri people, if we see such sacrilege and remain quiet and do nothing, we also run the risk of mysteriois deaths, still births, women dying at child birth, people dying in their farms and all sorts of abominable calamities, which is why we hastened to raise the alarm and absolve our people of any blame”. The Chief Priest recalled that the last time the Owerri ancestral python was killed was between 1979-1980 by some foreign contractors (MCC) who were then constructing the Wethedral-Christ Church Road in Owerri. “They took it for granted and mysterious things began to happen. Their machines broke down and operations were grounded. Key personnel in their workforce began to die randomly and mysteriously until they were brought to my father who was then the Chief Priest. The necessary things were done and the calamity was averted”, Ejiogu said. He continued: “At this point, it does not matter what the AIFCE management believes or don’t believe, what matters is that they have desecrated our land and the land will extract due recompense if they fail to do the needful. Ac-tions carry consequences. “AIFCE has been in our land for more than 50 years now. By now they should be conversant with the culture and taboos of Owerri people and respect them as such. “It would have been expected that it would be part of knowledge and learning for their students from different part of the country to at least learn while schooling here that Owerri people do not kill pythons. And all of them would testify that the said ancestral python as big as it was never and I repeat, never attacks human beings. Eke Nworie is not to be killed, it is not aggressive, it has never harmed anybody in the more than 100 years of its history, so why would anybody kill it? The consequences are enormous, and they will find out soon, if the necessary things are not done. ” An attendant of the Chief Priest hinted to our correspondent that if Nworie cones to avenge the killing, that mysterious things will begin to happen. ” For instance, lively students who may have no history of depression may suddenly commit suicide. Workers may be gasping for air and calling people to help and nobody will hear until they slump and die. The fact is that nobody knows how Nworie may choose to come this time but most times, these mysterious incidents will confuse autopsies”, he said.