The Killing Of A Great & Gifted Nnewi Doctor

As I gazed at the burnt remains of Dr. Ezennaya, I felt grieved as I knew that in the heap of the charred body of this man was a combined library and a teaching hospital destroyed. He was murdered by Bakassi Boys, a group of young men with an Igbo-wide mandate to identify evil people in Igboland, kill them by the sword and set their bodies on fire.

Armed robbers and their native doctor consultants that prepared charms for them were primary targets.

I have an equal share of biological relationships with good, successful and bad people. Dr. Ezennaya (a.k.a Ogbuebunu) was my mother’s relation. He took after his father’s trade i.e. Traditional Medicine. His father was a good man.

The practice of traditional medicine in Nnewi  was usually hereditary as most of the curative recipes and concussions were transmitted or revealed directly and exclusively to the doctor. We believed that plants and roots in the forests would speak directly to the dibia detailing their uses and efficacy in curing illnesses.

Unlike his father, Dr. Ezennaya decided to expand his scope to cover the contraband activities his father never ventured into. His income increased too as he built modern houses not usually seen in the compounds of native doctors.

Some people suspected that Dr. Ezennaya couldn’t have made all the money from the sale of malaria and other illness curing concoctions. He wore good clothes that brought out his handsome frame. He had no tale tell signs of a typical native doctor.

Dr. Ezennaya acquitted himself as a renowned native doctor or dibịa in Nnewi in the 1980s even as a young man. His deadly masquerade, Odogwu was never felled by any ajụ or nsi (i.e. any evil missiles propelled by fellow native doctors or freelance merchant of evil arrows). He also competed at the annual Ịtọ Ebunu (i.e. a competition where all Igbo native doctors would attempt to untie a ram tied to a stake with an invincible rope; whosoever that successfully untied the ram was adjudged the Dibịa of The Year) at Arondiuzogu, Imo State.

Dr. Ezennaya was like a lady who converted her item of entertainment to a money making machine or a hunter who used his gun to rob. But, nobody would say that Dr. Ezennaya was not called by the gods to his profession or that he didn’t understand his trade. He was a great dibia.

Death sentence was passed on Dr. Ezennaya by Bakassi Boys following the confession of some armed robbers who named him as the dibịa who prepared their “eje ana”, a protective charm that helped the robbers to escape unhurt in a robbery operation. He was said to have prepared “ụra edi”, a charm that would make robbery victims sleep heavily while their homes were being robbed and would wake up when the robbers had long gone. He also prepared “ọ da eshi”, a charm that would make the robbers’ bodies impervious to bullets and machete.

Immediately Dr. Ezennaya heard that his customers had been caught by the Bakassi Boys and had confessed, he knew that the die was cast. He made a mistake. He should have fled just like Abugeh of Otolo village who escaped through Seme border.

How could he run away from his compound and from his shrine? He trusted his powers and wanted to stand up to the Bakassi Boys.

My uncle, Dr. Ezennaya prepared himself and entered into his “okwu agwụ” meaning the inner recesses of his shrine. Nobody ordinarily could enter and reach him there. That was santa santorioum or holy of holies, the centre where all his powers converged.

When the Bakassi Boys arrived his house to administer judgment on him, they searched everywhere in his house but could not get him. It occurred to them that he was in his okwu agwụ but the boys could not enter despite their spirited efforts. There were invincible barbed wires that prevented them from passing through the open entrance door into the shrine.

Dr. Ezennaya watched as his assailants made futile efforts to come catch him. He laughed loud and asked them to peacefully leave his compound before they were consumed, but the boys stayed put.

Then, the spiritual head of the Bakassi Boys, Nwa Ngworo arrived. This man unfortunately operated on a higher spiritual level than Dr. Ezennaya. He muttered some indiscernible incantations and raised his blood soaked machete up in the air. That seemed to have promptly deactivated Dr. Ezennaya’s power connection.

Nwa Ngworo must have cut off the communication network within that vicinity and that between my uncle and his power sources.

All that Dr. Ezennaya did at that point was no longer effective.

A huge crowd had gathered to see the epic juju warfare between Dr. Ezennaya and the Bakassi Boys. They knew that the great Ezennaya would not go down without a fight.  They wanted to witness the duel themselves.

The watchers close to the shrine could hear when Dr. Ezennaya shouted, “alu emee!” meaning “abomination has occurred!” He felt his power leave him, I should reasonably assume.

“This is the the time to strike”, Nwa Ngworo told his boys. He empowered them to enter the shrine, a place even the spirits hitherto feared to enter.

My uncle, a great dibia, was brought out of his okwu agwu as a tranquilized lamb. He had been disarmed by a higher force!

That was how Dr. Ezennaya was killed.

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