Agila is a very lucky village. It has very wealthy sons (the wealthy daughters have not yet arrived). Infact, one of the wealthiest Agila sons is so wealthy that he is popularly known as Ada’Imo. For those whose knowledge of the Agila language has become very rusty, Imo (not Imo as in Imo State), is a euphemism for money. So, in effect, Ada’Imo means the father of money. Okibe Onoja is the father of money, not just the father of Agila money, but the father of money, period. Agila is lucky to count him as an illustrious Agila son. Even when one does not see his fabled wealth, one hears of it from those who have had a glimpse of it. Just imagine, Dangote, reputed to be the world’s richest black man does not have the money of Ada’Imo. At least, I have never heard anyone call him, father of money or in his mother tongue, Baban Kudi. Actually, I can categorically say that Dangote is a poor man vis-à-vis Ada’Imo. Burna Boy sang that Dangote, despite his fabled wealth, is “still looking for money.” Our own Ada’Imo is no longer looking for money. He has arrived and he arrived big. If INEC was more diligent, Ada’Imo’s Imo would have taken him to an exalted seat at the Red Chamber. Abba Moro would have been selling water for Ortom by now.
The other Agila wealthy son who has been in the news recently is Otse Onwa. I don’t know how high he ranks in the money totem pole. I do not even know about his money pedigree, either. Whether he is son of money or grandson of money, I have no idea. I do not know much about him. In fact, when I began to hear of him, I mistook him for my friend, John Otse Abo or Long John as he used to be popularly-known. Long John is from Onwa clan and I thought he was the wealthiest man from Onwa. I was wrong. A bank MD, like Long John, may count his money in only a few hundred millions. With that kind of money, if Okibe Onoja looks in your direction, you’d better wither like a vine.
In any case, Okibe Onoja or Ada’Imo and Otse Onwa are reputed to be the two richest men in Agila, not just the richest now, but possibly the richest ever and forever. These two men do not just have gazillions of Naira to their names, they have another thing in common. They are bitter rivals. They are not rivals over a woman. Although, if I had money, I would have competed with Okibe Onoja over that gorgeous Igumale girl. Both men are happily-married. They are not rivals over the governorship of Benue State. No, sir. Both men come from Agila. In the current equation of Benue politics, Agila does not have the soil to germinate a Benue governor. Neither man wants to become a masquerade. In truth, I do not know what their rivalry is all about. I don’t think either man knows, either. Someone said to my hearing that their rivalry is over who would “control” Agila. What is in Agila to be controlled? It cannot be Utu Ene’Omomuno, the symbolic vagina of Agila’s female progenitor. Both men are Christians and they will not go near Utu Ene’Omomuno, which is a fetish thing. If they begin to fight over that symbolic vagina, they will have a fight on their hands as I will join in the fight being a Chief Priest. For us Chief Priests, symbolic vaginas are our territory.
Now, despite not knowing what they are quarreling about, their quarrel is a deadly one or potentially a deadly one. Their foot soldiers have been at it for three days running. Some have been cut with machetes. Others were shot at, even though there are no reports of deaths or bullet wounds. Barricades have been erected to prevent the free movement of members of the Otse Onwa people. Agila is tensed up. When two wealthy Agila men sneeze, poor Agila people catch cold. I understand some Agila people now sleep in the masquerade groves for fear of “catching” stray bullets. In Agila, even chief priests do not sleep in masquerade groves, so this is serious.
The quarrel of Agila’s richest sons is a serious issue. The two men have murdered sleep. This should not be so. Wise heads are deliberating over how to bring these two men together to smoke a peace pipe. Sorry, Agila people do not settle their differences by smoking peace pipes. It’s the indigenous people of the Americas who do that. Many Agila people are despondent. They do not know what to do. When Nigerians lack solutions to socio-economic and political problems or they have reached the end of the road without a solution in sight, they sigh and say, “it is only God who can solve our problem.” I have heard that refrain repeated by many Agila people. I can tell you that Agila people have become a people of little faith. God, by which they mean, Jehovah, does not solve man-made problems. If we are waiting for Jehovah, it would be akin to waiting for Godot. Godot is not coming, and Jehovah is not coming, either. I do not mean to slight Agila Moslems. I do not know if Agila still have any Moslem. The only Agila Moslem I knew when I was growing up was the giant, Baban Mutum. But I can confidently say that just as Jehovah is not coming to reconcile Okibe Onoja and Otse Onwa, Allah is not coming either. Our masquerades are not coming either.
I have a workable solution to the Okibe Onoja and Otse Onwa feud. It is a solution made in Agila. It is a foolproof solution. It never fails. It solves a feud once and for all. It is an age-old solution to feuds in Agila. It is in conformity with our laws and the Constitution. It is a solution that leaves everybody satisfied. It is an impartial solution. Once I mention it, many readers will exclaim, “Yes, this was a solution staring us in the face. How come we did not think of it?” Anyway, here is the solution. Let’s get Okibe Onoja and Otse Onwa to resolve their feud, their rivalry, their deadly quarrels, through a wrestling match.
Yes, you read me right. Unu, as Agila people call it, is the only solution. Their wrestling match will be an epic wrestling match. The winner will be the winner and the loser will be the loser. Both men will be winners, actually. Agila’s younger generation may not recognize the efficacy of wrestling as a solution to feuds and rivalries, but it works. Those in my age category know this and it is our fault that we did not impress the importance of wrestling as a solution to social fracas to the younger generation. Even the more serious quarrels between Agila and Ndi’Egbo used to be settled with wrestling matches. Ndi’Egbo young men and boys always invited Agila people to wrestle against them. Invitations were extended in Egbo language to the effect of, Bia runu. We would jokingly say that we did not buy wrestling in Agila, but we never turned down their offers.
Yes, let Okibe Onoja and Otse Onwa wrestle. Let’s arrange the wrestling match. Since both of them are so rich, let one tar the road to Agila from Igumale and let the other person build a stadium. Akpoge Village Square will not be a good venue for the match. It would give Okibe Onoja an undue advantage. The Square is a half stone throw from his house and he can easily sneak to his house to take a sip of water while the match is still on.
We shall wager or bet millions of Naira on who would win. Palm- wine sellers would have a field day selling thousands of liters of wine. Akara, pepper-soup, and rice sellers would make a killing. Those who grow and sell marijuana would be able to buy airplanes from their sales that day. The gate fee collections would be enormous. We shall organize a pay-per-view for those who cannot make it to Agila. They will watch via YouTube and Tik Tok. The match would be more popular than a Chelsea game. Agila’s economy would be transformed forever.
Please, do not say that Okibe Onoja is too old to wrestle or that he is a chief and chiefs do not wrestle. Foul. Is Okibe Onoja older than some of the WWE wrestlers? Chiefs wrestle. Its kings who do not wrestle. Chiefs wrestle. Moreover, a chief who is challenged by another to a wrestling match has no choice. Let’s take it that Otse Onwa has challenged Okibe Onoja to a wrestling match. Ada’Imo must accept. Otse Onwa too must accept the challenge. If they like, let each of them select one hundred of their supporters to wrestle that day as the undercards of the main event. We shall place bets on these one hundred matches as well. More money. Even Bet Naija would move its headquarters to Agila after this epic wrestling match. One other thing. Wrestling is a very big revenue earner in Senegal. The Okibe Onoja Otse Onwa Epic Battle will eclipse the Balla Gaye versus Yekini match that smashed all revenue records in Senegal. Let Agila become the new wrestling capital of the world. Let’s get some money and become rich from the feud of Agila’s two richest men.
Prof. Pita Agbese writes from USA.