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Date: April 03, 2020, 05:55:26 PM


True Story Of How My Ancestors Dealt With Night Invaders: Raiders Who Attacked At Night: Culture : - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum


True Story Of How My Ancestors Dealt With Night Invaders: Raiders Who Attacked At Night

By: dayan (M) |Time : March 16, 2020, 05:29:41 AM
This is a true story handed down from father to son; from my own father to me.

This story happened in my own top family (the family of my great great grandfather).

For starters, anyone who is knowledgeable enough in the antiquity of Igboland of Anambra axis, would be familiar with a story like this.

This is partly how Igbo ancestors secured the land.

Now to the detail of the story…

To understand the story, there is a need for some background information before the main story.

Sometime ago in precolonial times, as part of efforts to secure our land especially in the nights, my ancestors took a decision to implement something which I suspect must be common practice in those days.

My ancestors were warriors, and this has been corroborated by the first Europeans who came into contact with the precolonial Igbo -particularly the Igbo of the Eastern and Western bank of the Niger river. Every family compound they entered had a “war tower”.

In that time and culture, everything was done to keep the society free and safe.

We had kings, but they were products of the oracles; so our kings were never contested as done in some parts of Igboland today. The kings were not absolute powers in the land; the deities were.
But let me not digress…

Whenever there was a need for war, ALL able bodied men stepped up to go to war.
Books like “Things Fall Apart” captured some of those practices.

Any man who didn’t participate in war (a war dodger) automatically lost his right to be called “a man”, and in this part of Africa, being called a man (“Nwoke”,  “Dimkpa”,  “Odogwu”, or “Dike” ) meant EVERYTHING to a man.

If you were NOT categorized a man, you automatically became “a woman”, and you were not entitled to ANYTHING, in fact you may be sold into slavery at any time after that, but let me not digress much there, too.

The point is that part of being a man meant that you took ALL NECESSARY STEPS to secure your land, and by “land” they meant farmlands, forests, water bodies, women, children, and culture of course. This is why it was very difficult for the Europeans to subdue the Igbo in three decades of on and off wars.

The Igbo of that era used EVERY MEANS to secure the land.

In war, they physically used swords (or machete for war), bows, arrows, guns (Dane guns), etc.

But the Igbo of that time also believed that you couldn’t secure the land without spiritual means as well; so they also employed powerful charms.

If the enemy attacked during the day when they were awake, they simply fought off the enemy using physical and spiritual weapons.

But what about when asleep; i.e. during the middle of the night, when all were supposed to be sleeping?

A typical example is in today’s Nigeria where Fulani herdsmen attack mostly during the night.
They attacked when people are sleeping to reduce the chance of the people fighting back.
You may call it cowardice, but the Fulani don’t really believe in morals and honor in wars.
To them all is fair in war.
That needed to be said to understand why my ancestors did what they did.

So, how did my ancestors deal with such nocturnal attacks?

That brings us to the core of this story...

To solve such problem, my ancestors acquired (don’t ask me how, because I wasn’t there, but they usually kidnapped such people) a very strong warrior from outside of the clan.

The men they used for this type of a ritual were usually famous for their warrior skills.
They were usually HUGE STRONG MEN.

They got this man, immobilized him with charms, stood him in the middle of the main “Obi compound” or “mbala Obi”.

They then handed him ALL manner of weapons: guns, sword (obejili agha), “Aro” (or spear), bows and arrows, etc, all hung on his shoulders (both left and right). They then performed very powerful rituals using incantations, enchantments, and sorcery to empower the man with additional powers.

After the ritual, they simply started to cover this man with red clay soil mortar or paste (often red laterite).
They covered the man from feet, part by part, until he was fully covered to the top of his head completely.
Obviously at that point the man would have died.

They then lowered the man into the ground and covered up the ground.

In that place they planted a tree (usually an Iroko tree) and other smaller trees around it to mark the spot for future rituals. It formed what we they called “agbor”.

Year after year, they performed some rituals to “charge” the “war man”.

At this point, it is important to explain what the war man did for the family.

According to the story, every night from between 12 a.m. and 5.a.m, this war man came out physically to make his “patrols”.
He would first walk straight from his spot (the big tree) to the family boundary that is about 500 meters ahead, and from there keep walking in circles around the whole family boundaries looking for invaders or strangers who came into the land for evil.

There used to be lots of slave hunters (actually kidnappers because my clan only sold deviant members of the clan) in those days, and they came from far places like Abam, Ohafia and Abiriba part of Igbo land.  Any foreigner who was unfortunate to meet this “war man” in the night was as good as dead, because there was no amount of warriors this singular war man did not destroy -solo.

Mind you, he was already dead or half dead, and had been fortified with charms.

This was how the family was protected in the nights for about 200 hundred years before 1965.

What happened in 1965?

Well, as the story goes, it was destroyed by a mighty thunder one mid morning (around . On that fateful day, there was a very light rain, the type of rain that never produced lightening talk less of thunders.

However, this rain was a little different, because there was also a little sunshine that day.

Suddenly, out of the blues there was a MIGHTY lightening, followed by a POWERFUL thunder.

It struck the tree that was planted in the middle of that “agbor” bush, and left a HUGE hole (about 3 meters deep) there.

That marked the end of the “war man”.

When I asked my father what exactly happened, and WHY the war man was destroyed by the thunder, he said he didn’t know why, but that he suspected that maybe God wanted to end it since there was no need for such thing since all members of the family had converted to Christianity.

My own assessment is that in addition to Christianity, the people who really knew about the thing and HOW to “charge and take care of it” were no more.

You can add your own guess…

This story always comes to my mind each time I read the news about Fulani herdsmen raping woman and killing men with impunity in Igboland. It pains me especially because I know that major part of Igbo come from a lineage of warriors.

There was jihad in other parts of southern Nigeria to the West (at least down to Ilorin) but there was no evidence that the Jihadists made any inroad into Igboland.

Methinks that the reason they never made such inroad is because the Igbo of that era were real warriors who did EVERYTHING possible to protect and defend the land given to them by The Most High God Chukwu Okike Abiama.

Maybe when Igbo men today remember the exploits and nature of their ancestors, they may start taking steps to protect their lands rather than complaining all the time, moaning and crying like women.

What the Fulani invaders are doing at this stage, is sending an expeditionary message.  The haven’t started the main course action. IMHO.

By raping women of all ages, they are telling the men in that land that they are NOT men. Simple.
You can take it anyway you want, but truth is truth.

It is one thing to stealthily come and go from lands, and leave before the owners knew you were ever there.

It is entirely different to openly come into lands, rape mothers, wives and female children of that land, and dare the men to do their worst. That is an act or war.

When a meeting was called recently in Umuawulu Awka Anambra State by the “stakeholders” with the Fulani herdsmen, the herdsmen simply walked out on them and the police, telling them to do their worst.

In the days of our ancestors, it would NEVER have gotten to that stage before the threat would have been dealt with decisively.

If you are an Igbo man reading this, you really should sit down and actually apply your mind to the threat facing your land; the lands bequeathed you by your warrior ancestors.

 -Dayan, (

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