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He was a ruler fair and wise, who had the "ear" of his people. They listened to what he said and he did the same in turn.
There was nothing ordinary about him and his people knew it. They didn't understand how the process worked; some said that he would think of something and "make it happen" others claimed that as a Chief he was gifted with second sight and foresaw oncoming events. Whatever the case he was a man of his people and they referred to him fondly as Ekpe (Lion), the elders in his council had been shocked by his booming reprimand of Mbakara "The Light One's" capture by the so called men of valour. They had cowered in his presence when he stood up from his throne in all his glory to state that they were men who were "blind with eyes"! they later wispered among themselves that a higher force was definietly guiding his decisions, how could they have known that the stranger was not a threat, he was like no one they had seen before!
They did not want to incite his wrath, everyone knew that his anger was that of a lion. There was a reason why they called him Ekpe.
Mbakara himself had become a constant in the palace, the childeren were no longer afraid of his lightness but looked forward to his visits and had started learning how to speak like him, they found his nasal sounds funny and mimmicked his speech. This had given him the idea to set up school in his house for those interested in learning his language, and his school was growing daily.
Initially he had been intimdated by Obong Nnsentip, he had written in his journal that, "He had not deemed to meet a man as formidable as the Paramount ruler in such a flung place; a man indeed ahead of his time, who possessed the intelligence of the most enlightened Emeritus scholars." He had felt in those days that the Chief was a man displaced in time, he had however come to learn that he was in fact exactly where he was meant to be, in the right time and place.
The villagers had brought him their best crop to appease his anger over the kidnapping of Mbakara and he had told them that "A man would stand in the river and look for water to wash his face" they had not understood his idiom, he had tested them further by stating that a "palm oil seller does not go to the market to buy oil". They had finally understood his meaning, he advised them to take their gifts to the one they had offended and stay with him til their saw forgiveness in his eyes, "because the eyes do not lie"
He impressed upon them that when Mbakara visited him next he would search his eyes to see if they had been successful in their mission. The men of valour went home and told their wives to prepare food baskets and sleeping matts for them, they had a mission and would be away for many moons if light did not shine on them!
In Loving memory of
His Royal Highness Edidem Ekpeobong Atakpa, Okunne Onne, Oku Awaitam IX,
Paramount Ruler of Itu LGA, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria