Culture zone

Mid Night in Ogugu: Death of an innocent husband of a cheating wife

It’s 12: 30 AM here in Ogugu. The darkness is thick that no one can see the thenar of their own hands. As the darkness comes with melody of consort Toads, so it comes with echoes of deaths. Ibegwu are on the watch.

To begin with, let it have a place at the back of our minds that, cheating has no tribe. A good woman can be from anywhere and a bad woman can as well, be from anywhere.

However, why many make case for Igala women and Ogugu in particular, is this, if you have country A and country B, let it be that stealing is highly prohibited in country A but tolerated in Country B with mild frowning, which of the two countries is most likely to have lesser cases of stealing? Of course, it’s the country that seriously frowns at the act of stealing. In that country, people will grow into a culture of nonstealing. They tend to naturally desist from stealing even without citing the punishment that comes with it. Because, from birth, the environment would condition them mentally not to steal. Howbeit, there might still be cases of few rebels.

Likewise to Ogugu and perhaps, most parts of Igala land. The people are born into an environment with value for morality. For Ogugu, everyone grows into the belief of seeing cheating as deadly. With that, it’s commonsensical to know that there could be lesser cheats compare to other parts of Nigeria where sleeping around is more like their second nature.

So, women born in Ogugu or Igala land might not be saints, but there is every tendency that the good among them are more than the bad eggs and your chances of finding a good egg in that region are higher compare to every other region where they could be mostly bad.

That is why some people believe that you should come back home to get a wife. So, don’t blame them and don’t think it’s unwise to pay heed to their nugget.

That said, why would a young man still have to die even when he knows nothing about his wife’s extramarital affair(s)?

Listen, the gods are not to be blamed. Premature deaths are indeed painful but Ibegwu are wise. They don’t punish you for whatever you don’t know.

Ibegwu only strike when their warnings are stiffly ignored. According to the belief of Ogugu people, whenever your wife gets involved in cheating, Ibegwu would prick you with signs. Most times, they begin by hitting you with strange dreams. You could start seeing your forefathers or dead relatives in your dreams. Often, people you hardly see in dreams.

Once such dreams start coming, it’s expected that you reach out to elders for interpretation or pray for God to reveal whatever is behind such a dream.

When you ignore the dreams, Ibegwu would move to the second stage. In that stage, you will begin to narrowly escape accidents even in your home. You would narrowly escape query or sack at work and similar happening.

By the time you remain adamant, they move to the 3rd stage which is sickness. They will hit you with an alignment. It could begin from common malaria and deteriorate to some obvious symptoms of Ibegwu in action. At the initial stage of the sickness, your life has not been tampered with. You are expected to rush home and appeal to the gods.

Only further delay could make Ibegwu conclude on bringing you into their club. At that stage, even if your people fly you to London, it would be tantamount to pouring water into a big basket. It would end in dripping tears.

Don’t forget, all these can happen within a fortnight. If you are not lucky, yours could come snappy. Others could be on sick bed for a very long time.

So, Ibegwu, as little as I know, don’t kill anyone for what they know nothing about.

Do you understand?

In a case where the man is not aware of his cheating wife. Nobody has told him and the Ibegwu in their wisdom refuse to signal him, the cheating woman is booked to die. To offer her a fair chance, she would also be confronted by the Ibegwu before they would strike her with an incurable ailment.

What I know that many people don’t know is that Ibegwu has killed more cheating women than men. People wouldn’t come to social media to announce those ones. Ask anyone you know from any part of Igala land, they must have heard or know somebody who was married to an Ogugu man but died over Ibegwu related issues. Our gods don’t sleep nor slumber. They don’t kill innocent men and they preserve innocent women.

I have seen an array of attacks on the Ogugu tradition in the last few days and more heavily since the death of Abah about 2 days ago. It was believed that Ibegwu clutched him because his wife of fewer than 6 months-old marriage was having extramarital affair(s).

Out of curiosity, I made frantic efforts to get to the crux of the incident. While I am yet to get first-hand information, those I was able to reach confirmed that the wife of the deceased is a chronic cheat.

However, for each person I spoke with, I had always drawn their attention to a trend in Ogugu and possibly, other parts of Igala land.

When a married man falls sick and it happens that he is moved to the village, the first set of speculations that would crop up are Ibegwu allegations irrespective of the type of sickness being suffered from. Our people are good at accusations and in the midst of speculations, the devil will hide under Ibegwu to cause confusion and eventual death.

Ibegwu are innocent of some of the deaths attributed to them. So, I would always want to be sure if a confession was made that confirmed that Ibegwu actually came to carry out their duty. If not, it’s not pretty good that we spread rumors of what has not been verified in this social media age.

An unreliable source told me that the lady confessed while a closer individual to the deceased that I spoke with told me that he heard that the lady confessed. None of them could actually say he(she) witnessed the confession.

I asked if the guy never knew or told anybody about his cheating wife, one of the persons I spoke with said nobody suspected, while another person said the guy might have noticed it and possibly ignored it.

Now, read carefully

It wouldn’t be Ibegwu if the guy never knew about it. If he wasn’t aware, the cheating wife would have been the death candidate, not him. If he was aware but ignored, the gods are not to be blamed.

However, as an African man, I know that there are situations where women cheat and use charms to blindfold their husbands from letting it out. In such a case, Ibegwu have two duties to perform; They will empower, at least, a relative of such a man to confront the man. The family could later be aware. But often, because the man is under a spell, he would ignore and that would invite the Ibegwu to perform their second duty — to call him home and become one of them irrespective of your age.

Whatever is the case of Abah, God knows that the gods are hardly at fault even as we pray that his soul finds rest.

It’s actually a wicked world and the Bible that enjoined us not to worry over the dead knows that the world is such a stressful place emptily loaded. We actually live for nothing. So, we are the same as the dead. I hope this would help the family wipe off their tears and move towards their own death too because none of us would escape it.

Whenever you fall sick or anyone around you does, first, sick professional assistance from Doctors. If it’s Ibegwu, even on the hospital bed, the signals will keep coming.

As you call doctors, do also listen to your dreams and signs surrounding your daily activities.

Trust your wife but always figure out the rumor of cheating and bad dreams — especially anyone that involves seeing dead people.

Never rush yourself to the village for traditional medicine. The devil has found it as a means of causing confusion among village people to snatch lives. What is not Ibegwu would be decorated as one.

In all, when it comes to finding a lady to marry, go down on your knees and pray to God. They don’t write cheating spirit on foreheads. And cheating has no tribe. Even if she cheats not, she could still stab you with a knife if her own is a spirit of anger.

Lastly, there are very many other things that can make Ibegwu grab a married man aside from a cheating wife. Even a miscarriage by your wife could lead to your death if it’s not carefully handled. If your wife is having a miscarriage, know the cause and reach out to the elders. If it’s a direct abortion and you are aware, you are gone. In short, by Ogugu tradition, to make a statement that you don’t want more children is regarded as taboo and deadly.

So, not all death cases originate from a cheating wife. The tradition is deep, the dos and don’ts are very many.

And for those who are wondering what would happen to the lady if she is truly responsible for the young man’s death, be rest assured that it will never be well with her.

If she has gotten kids, she would end up in a pitiable condition with the husband’s family because her male child will not be allowed to accept anything from her. She would regret hawking her kpomo during her husband’s burial. If she is still childless, she would be forced to return all monies spent on her before she can remarry.

Albeit, it’s unfortunate, the family does not have any legal reprisal against her, as well as any right to render her physical punishment because I don’t think our constitution recognizes spiritual affairs. Ibegwu would also not do anything to her again. Because she has no child, she could even shun the burial, and there will be no repercussions. But if she has children, her case is worse than a piece of yam in hot oil.


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