Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe, PhD

Odogwu of Ibusa

President, International Coalition against Christian Genocide in Nigeria (ICAC-GEN)

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In my hiding place at Ibusa my hometown

By the time I arrived at the home of Dr. Uchenna Nweke at Abba town in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, it was already late afternoon. Unfortunately he was not around. However, his wife who was equally familiar with me immediately called him to inform him of my presence. Dr. Uchenna Nweke who is popularly and variously known as “Beke n’Abba” and “Ozowalu” is a notable and one of the trending Native Doctors around his area and environs.

We were presumed to be very good family friends. There was no feast he celebrated to my notice without my presence with my traditional entourage from Ibusa. As a researcher I had even brought a BBC news crew from the United Kingdom to interview him on Igbo customs and traditions. Our relationship was such that I would come to his house and see his wife waiting for him to give her money to go to the market to buy food items and I would just give some money for the market.

Few weeks before my ordeal with the DSS, he had requested me to give him one of my BMW cars as gift, precisely the E36 convertible which I had indeed used for seven years and got tired of. I immediately accepted and handed over the original papers of the car to him and was planning to bring it to him before the DSS came after me. So I was loaded with confidence and assurance of maximum protection in his house when I chose his house as the first point of my refuge on fleeing from Lagos.

When he eventually arrived, I narrated my ordeal to him and requested financial assistance to enable me move to somewhere in Warri. He subsequently gave me the sum of five thousand naira and, after eating the food provided by his wife, I slept off due to excess fatigue, having not had a normal sleep for more than seven days running. I woke up around 5pm. By then he had gone out and, when he returned, he advised that I should sleep over the night, an advice I willingly accepted.

Not long after his arrival a young man came in, and they immediately went into discussions. Somehow within my short distance away I overheard the young man mentioned “Ndi Eke”, an Igbo slang meaning Security Agents. In my desperation I immediately joined them but as soon as I entered they changed the topic abruptly, resulting to an even more off-point incoherent topic and striking unwelcome dispositions towards me.

I immediately retreated to my previous position with courtly excuse. When the man left, I approached my host and intimated my suspicion about the man. But he assured me that the man was his friend and that he had come to discuss important business with him, to which I nodded with uneasy affirmation. Thereafter I left him and went to his outer reception room separated from the main living house and waited for him for further discussions.

While waiting for him I slept off only to be awakened by cold shivers all over my body in the depth of the night. In Nigeria, electricity far from being an essential public utility was and still remains a luxury distributed at the will and convenience of the agencies concerned. So there was no question of electricity that day and the moon was out of its period to provide its periodic divine illumination. Everywhere was in total darkness. Not being familiar with the sitting room I struggled to locate the exit door by blind technique of search-by-touch ing.

When I eventually found my way out I immediately noticed a strange movement in the form of a human figure which swiftly moved out of the open-exit fenced compound in the midst of the darkness, which subsequently confirmed the cold shivers. I then called out to my host: “Beke”! And he replied: “Odogwu, any problem”? I asked him what was the time and he said after a while, 2am. I told him I was going; and he said to where? I replied I don’t know. He said I should go back to his reception and sleep till morning and nothing would happen to me. I then asked him without lock and key? He said nothing.

It was then I knew he had sold out, for nothing should have stopped him from asking me to come into his living house at that moment of danger. So I decided to risk leaving his house at that moment of dead night which in my tradition is referred to as Odi n’abo—the deadliest period of the night when evil spirits stroll about and hover around human habitations with unrestricted recklessness, witches and wizards held their nocturnal meetings with malevolent intents, and men of the underworld operate with daring impunity.

His house is located close to a vast forestland of oil palm trees and other wild fauna of which I was not familiar with; being a stranger to the town. As soon as I stepped out of the compound, I was confronted with powerful menacing rays from three touch-lights with a voice ordering me to stop there. Without heeding the order, I took to my heels on the next available opposite track shouting in Igbo, “I am not a thief but a Biafran activist and that they want to kill me because I am a Biafran activist”, as they engaged me in a hot pursuit in that dead night.

Sensing that I was moving out of the zone of human habitation, I negotiated into the nearby bush, ran a short distance through the thick shrub with disused yam mounds and found myself into a ditch. I remember I was still shouting until I could no longer remember anything anymore. I woke up at dawn to discover I was in the bush lying in pains. I tried to stand up, but I could not. I was paralyzed on both legs. I then managed to sit up not knowing what next to do but just moping in the lonely bush.

Not long after, I noticed a movement towards me and when I looked up I saw a young boy of about 12 years coming towards me with animal fodder and cutlass. He stopped at an appreciable distance gazing steadily at me. I then beckoned on him to come closer, to which he obliged.  I then begged him to call his people to help me out of the place. He left and within a short moment the young Good Samaritan returned with his mother and another woman.

The two women tried to lift me up but they were unable to do so. I then begged them to call the same man I fled his house. When he arrived, all he could say was, I shouldn’t have run away knowing quite well that I was not familiar with the land. I did not respond to him since he did not state what could have happened to me if I had not fled his house at the moment I did.

He then called a hefty young man who lifted me on his back and took me to his house, where I begged him to take me out of his house. While convalescing painfully in his house and cogitating over what had befallen me, I continued to receive the ominous signs of imminent danger more deadly than what had befallen me.

Although Uchenna Nweke is a well-known traditional Doctor in the area he was feared and respected, but he equally knew me as the Odogwu of Ibusa Clan. He knew that I was not the kind of person whose words can just be shoved aside without having a serious thought over them. So when I told him I must leave his house that day and immediately, he knew I had caught the joke of his plans to finally deliver me to the DSS agents.

He continued to give the excuse that he was busy and that I should exercise some patience. All I could respond was, “please Beke take me away from your house”; because I knew my assailants were still lurking around. I persisted in demanding that I should be taken away from his house, even as he brought some pain-relieving drugs for me to drink and food to wage their after-effects.

  1. Escape From Abba to Adazi Nnukwu and Igbakwu

After a long drawn pressure insisting on my leaving his house immediately, with his wife who was relatively close to me dissuading me not to leave their house for a reason she could not explain, he agreed to invite his friend to take me to my town. But I rejected the decision to be taken to Ibusa for obvious reasons; the most critical being the vulnerability of the road from Abba through Onitsha and Asaba to Ibusa my hometown, on which were dotted devious check-points of Nigeria Police. I knew that between Awkuzu Junction and Onitsha Head Bridge anything could happen.

I thus insisted that I should be taken to a friend’s house at the town of Adazi Nnukwu. Having contacted Mr. Jude Sawyer, my Personal Assistant and informed him of my situation and where I was at the time, it became clear to him that he would definitely be held accountable for my disappearance from his house without trace. He thus had no option than to acquiesce to my request and subsequently called one of his collaborator-friends to convey me to Adazi Nnukwu.

After some moments his friend arrived with a Toyota Siena and when he attempted to know our actual destination I told him I did not know the actual address but I know the place at Adazi Nnukwu and that I would direct him.  He said Okay. I was eventually lifted into the car and off we left his compound. From that moment I knew I had started dealing with the agents of the Government masquerading as friends and sympathizers, who had been watered with mouth-watering blood-money in exchange for my life.

Being that I am well conversant with all the road networks of Anambra State constructed from Chris Ngige through Dame Etiaba to Peter Obi, I was quick to take the initiative. I knew he would take the possible routes that would make it easier for the security officers to abduct me on the way, I directed him to take the Abba-Ukpo-Olympic Drinks-Abagana-Enugwu Ukwu-Ezi Elias-Adazi Nnukwu-Neni link road. So as soon as we left Nimo town and approached the town of Adazi Nnukwu I decided that the young man would not take me directly to my final destination.


Just as we got to the Adazi Nnukwu bank of Idemili River close to the outskirts of the town, I noticed some commercial motor-cyclists (Okada) parked by the bank of Idemili River and beckoned on the man to stop me there and put me on a motor-cycle. He objected seriously insisting that the instruction was that I should be taken to my final destination. I however reminded him that I only knew my final destination and so should decide where to be dropped.

I added by letting him know that because of the on-going road construction in the town, the access road to my destination had been blocked and thus could only allow the passage of a motor-cycle. The people there told him that since I said he should stop me there then he should not force me. Based on these incontrovertible reasons put forth and pressure from people around, he finally acquiesced to my demand and called one of the motor-cyclists to convey me.


He eventually carried me out of the car and lifted me on the Okada. I simply told the motor-cyclist to drop me at the main Afo Market Square and off we departed. It was after we left the scene that I informed the motor-cyclist of my real destination—late Prof. Ogbukagu’s residence in Nnukwu village.


When we arrived at Prof Ogbukagu’s residence, his wife on seeing my condition and realizing I could not walk but had to be lifted from the Okada, this most benevolent wife of a most benevolent man, “Odi Uko na Mba”,  true to her pet-name, burst into tears— weeping: “Tony is this you.” Immediately, she instructed that I should be taken inside the house. Unfortunately, the key to the room where I often stay during my visits could not be found. It was then I sensed that God did not want me to stay there for obvious reasons. Thereafter I requested her to take me to my hometown, to which she readily responded in the affirmative, stating that she would do anything possible to help me out in my present predicament.

She then ordered her driver and one other young man—a nephew to her late husband to join her driver to convey me to Ibusa—my hometown which was across the River Niger. I knew that Adazi Nnukwu is one of the most locally policed towns in Anambra State with zero tolerance to criminality and being popular among the people as their consultant-historian, it would not be long before I was fished out. I therefore saw her decision as a timely and welcome development.


And true to my thinking, by the time we got to the Idemili River crossing separating Adazi Nnukwu and Nimo, the Police were already mounting roadblock ostensibly searching for me. They even asked us if we saw any wounded man on Okada on our way; and of course we said no, and proceeded on our journey. As the Igbo often say, “one does not identify a lame person in the boat”, thus since I was sitting comfortably in the car, there was no way I could be identified as that wounded man on an Okada.


Immediately we crossed the bridge into Nimo side, I addressed the two young men and informed them that my real destination was not Ibusa my hometown but instead Igbakwu in Ayamelum Local Government Area of  Anambra State, where I knew another godfather, now late, Nze Anakwe, popularly known as “Obalande”, would be willing to receive me without question. The driver protested on the ground that the money provided for fueling the car would not be enough.



I then promised to subsidize the cost of the fuel with the sum of two thousand and five hundred naira from the five thousand naira Dr. Nweke gave me, to which they agreed. I was finally taken to Igbakwu where the man in his characteristic kind manner kept me in his house for seven days and invited a local bone expert to treat me.

The fact about my life is that nobody close to me will judge me as a bad man even though I unmistakably live with the imperfections of every mortal man; except those who see me from afar. They could describe me as stubborn to a fault but not evil. Even those at the opposite side of a conflict I am involved would often tell me that they like me except for the side I belong. So I knew that Nze Anakwe who was a more powerful native Doctor and much closer to his ancestors that Dr. Uchenna Nweke will not only accept me but will not betray me in the manner of Uchenna Nweke.


When we eventually arrived at Obalende’s house, there was uproar among his compound of three wives and many children. He asked me, “Odogwu is this you or another person?” I answered, “Obalande it is me.” He uttered, “Odogwu, madu egbukoro gi (Odogwu nobody will kill you). He immediately ordered his third and last wife to take care of me, and subsequently employed a local orthopedic expert to provide therapy for me. But my case was a complicated one, being that the outer wing of my left femur was cut into two at the hip joint.


I stayed in the remote village of Igbakwu ostensibly concealed from the knowledge of the DSS until five days after when unusual visitors began to make enquiries about me. Chief Anakwe had three wives and I was put under the care of the last and obvious favorable wife who provided me food, while one of her sons helped me out with other personal needs like taking my bath and going to toilet among other things.

After three days of my stay I noticed strange faces outside his normal customers interacting with his children in weird manners. Before I could fathom what was happening, his powerful Alusi (Deity) in his compound called Nne Nwanyi began to call me in the night. Unconsciously I would leave my sleep and try to jump over the fence into the shrine enclosure until his children would come to rescue me. Even the bone healer contracted to treat me at one point requested that I should be taken to his house, but my host rejected it insisting that if he did not want to treat me in his house he should forget everything about it.


On the sixth day the young boy assisting me informed me in confidence to tell his father to allow me to be taken to somewhere for security reasons, possibly to their farmhouse in their distant farmland, because he was informed by somebody that some boys in the village had arranged with the security officials to come and take me away any moment from then.

I thought of the danger of going into hiding in a remote forest unknown to me and the thought of being summarily dispatched of in the farmhouse without the knowledge of the people sent cold shivers over me. I knew then that my enemies might have infiltrated my host’s children. Immediately I made up my mind to leave. The following day being the seventh day of my stay, after taking my breakfast, I calmly approached my host and informed him that I would want to be taken to somewhere close to my hometown. He responded that he was in fact thinking of what next to do about my safety especially when the bone healer was not showing any sign of progress in injury.

Having agreed with my suggestion, the problem of how to raise money for my transportation soon emerged. I had given the two thousand five hundred naira remaining with me to his third wife who was taking care of me; part of which she gave as advance payment to the bone healer and the rest she used to purchase some native ingredients for the bone healing. So neither did I have any money to pay for my transportation nor did the woman and her husband have the money to support me.

Consequently the woman agreed to lend me the sum of eight hundred naira, with the proviso that I should pay back when I get to my destination and equally account for the return transportation of her son who was the detailed to escort me to my destination. Obalande’s eldest son Onyeka equally supported me with fifty naira. No friendship is worth more than the other at a critical moment, both poor and rich.



b.) Escape from Igbakwu to Oko-Ogbele in Delta State


I knew the enemies were on ground devising how they could enter Obalande’s house to apprehend me since he was feared, being one of the most powerful native doctors not just in his town but around the entire Ayamelum and Anambra East and West Local Government Areas feared among the people. This explained why they attempted to use some of his children to lure me out of his house into the bush. So I decided to specifically request for the Chairman of Okada riders popularly known as Okada in Igbakwu to convey me with   specific instructions by my host.


As we proceeded with our journey I noticed that I was being monitored by another commercial motorcyclist who quickly overtook us and ostensibly reported to one of the Policemen at the first Bye-pass Junction that my name was Odogwu and that I was a wanted man. This is because as we reached the checkpoint I was surprised to hear the Policeman who never knew me say “carry on Odogwu.” The motorcyclist again raced past us and met the Policemen at Ezu River Bridge Checkpoint and made similar report, but the Policemen only demanded money from us; and when I attempted to give them, the rider who was well known to them told me to put my money in my pocket. Eventually we were signaled to move on.


As soon as the motorcyclist found out that he could not convince the Policemen at the last checkpoint of their Local Government Area that I was a wanted person and thus should be arrested, he turned back and returned to Igbakwu.  But I knew there were still dangers lurking ahead on the way, especially at the popular Aguleri Junction, or even before getting that point. Thus as soon as we got to Igbariam Junction I told the riders to enter the road and he quickly obliged.


We eventually burst out at Achalla Junction on Enugu-Onitsha Expressway by Awkuzu Junction. But before we got to the adjoining Police checkpoint, it was already getting dark, so I instructed the rider to transfer us to another Okada rider whom I perceived should be familiar with the Policemen at the checkpoint. So I paid him and bade him farewell for a job well done.


Arriving at Achalla Road Express junction I had two options for my journey across the River Niger into my Delta home-State. I had the easier option of taking a direct route to Onitsha through the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway but with the danger of being tracked down at the popular Awkuzu Express junction; and the circuitous journey of going through Oye Agu Market, Abagana, which was deemed safer.  I decided to avoid the popular Awkuzu Junction on Enugu-Onitsha Expressway and instead opted for Oye Agu Abagana to Boromeo Junction. So I told the Okada rider to take us to Oye Agu Abagana Bus-Stop and to put us in any ready-to-move Bus.


From that point, just before the mounted Police Check-point, we boarded another commercial motor-cycle which I supposed should be familiar with the Policemen at the Check-point that eventually took us to Oye-Agu Market Bus-Stop, Abagana. Just before we disembarked from the motor-cycle, I noticed a departing mini-bus at the filling station departing to Onitsha at the opposite side of the road and implored motorcyclist to quickly take us there to join the bus.

As the motor-cycle grounded to a halt, I noticed Beke na Abba driving into the same filling station with his Infiniti FX 135 to refuel, ostensibly to begin a hunt for me. I immediately beckoned our rider to turn back immediately to the Bus-Stop, which he did as commanded. Immediately we got back to the bus-stop, we saw another bus getting ready to depart, which we boarded without wasting anytime. With the bus we eventually got to Bromeo Hospital Junction Bus-Stop, Onitsha.

From Boromeo Bus-Stop we boarded a motor-bike that took us to the Onitsha end of the River Niger Bridge. From that point we boarded another commercial motor-cycle that took us across the River Niger to the Asaba end of the Bridge in Delta State—my home State.

Slightly relieved at the Asaba end of the Niger Bridge, we eventually boarded another commercial motor-bike that took us to the home of Dr. Fidelis Nwanze—the Akwue of Oko Amakom who is popularly as De Bossman, another notable traditional Doctor and a friend. On seeing me being lifted out of the motor-bike like a pack of wood, he was speechless and was just mopping at me with depressed calmness.

After some moments, he called out in my traditional title name—Odogwu three times, and asked me “is this you”? “What happened”? I simply responded by telling him that all I needed was where I would be treated first before we can talk. He immediately suggested a bone expert in Oko Ogbele community situated some fifteen kilometers south of Oko Amakom on the same West bank of River Niger. Oko Ogbele is situated approximately opposite Atani on the eastern bank of the Niger.

In the interim I was able to give him a summary of what transpired before our arrival to his house and requested his assistance to provide the passage expenses back home for the young man that escorted me to his home from Igbakwu, and on whose parents’ benevolence my survival partly depended. He agreed and accordingly did as promised. After serving us supper, he arranged for two motor-bikes which conveyed us to the home of the bone healer at Oko Ogbele where I was left in the care of the man and his wife after discussing the terms of my treatment.

Before Dr. Nwanze left me I however pleaded with him to contact my uncle—the Diokpa (Traditional Head) of my lineage Sir Fidelis Nwanze, with who he coincidentally bears the same name, of my whereabouts. Sir Fidelis Nwanze was actually the one who abdicated the Odogwu title paving the way for my assumption of the title on substantive rights. Dr. Nwanze returned the day later with some money but not without interesting accounts of his weird confrontation with the Nwanze family.

According to him, when he introduced himself as someone sent by me, he was instantly rebuked as a liar and con-man that had only come to use my name to swindle them of some money. They had told him that they already got a report that I had been apprehended and killed by the DSS and that was just the truth. Any other story of my being alive was the story of criminals intending to use my name to swindle them.

It was however when Dr. Nwanze became visibly annoyed and protested against such denigration of his integrity, insisting that he was a man of integrity beyond what they were thinking of, and further threatening to leave, that my uncle and his wife began to douse their suspicion. He further reminded my uncle that his name was equally Fidelis Nwanze from the neighboring Oko Amakom. With my uncle instinctively exclaiming, “So our names are the same”, the situation was brought into total control.

He then gave them the contact phone number of my bone-healer with which I was instantly contacted, thereby confirming the authenticity of his mission. Two days later my cousin and the eldest son of my uncle—Sir Nnamdi Nwanze visited me with additional cash and provisions.

While holed up at Oko Ogbele ostensibly hoping for immediate solution to my fractured limbs, the thought of being located by the security agents never occurred to me until one early morning when I was taken out for my morning bath. That early morning, just between of actual darkness and emerging light of dawn, a young man strolled to my hearing distance from the point of the make-shift bathroom where I was taking my bath, which was situated outside the main house and began to make telephone calls.

From the conversation I heard him stating that he had confirmed that I was there and that I was taking my bath at the moment of he was calling. I became visibly afraid and rushed my bath. When I reported the incident to my host he simply dismissed it with a wave of the hand assuring me in a much boastful manner that nobody would touch me in his house. But I was not convinced, having witnessed not only the ruthlessness of the DSS, but also the power of money to upturn the mindset of supposedly upright men, especially in such a visibly poverty-stricken community as Oko Ogbele.

Few days later, two young men my host informed me were his kinsmen living at the neighboring Oko Anala community visited him and he had the occasion to introduce me to them. I did not take it kindly with such act of introduction since I was meant to be in hiding, as I later made him to understand. He once again dismissed it with a wave of the hand, insisting that nothing would happen to me in his house. Still I was not convinced and immediately the thought of an alternative action began to crop up in my mind.

I knew he was already tilting towards my adversaries because not only was he beginning to speak to me with striking disrespect and command-driven authority as somebody in his captivity, his once dedicated pattern of therapeutic tenderness was gradually degenerating into characteristic roughness and undesirable haste. Then the climax came to one early morning when I was neither taken out for bath nor served breakfast.

I knew that the money provided for my feeding by my cousin had depleted to zero level, and I equally knew that if they were allowed to continue misusing the money in the manner they were spending it, there would come a time when those providing the money will feel constrained to stop providing it. So I decided to pull a fast game before him to enable me escape from the already holed up gulag.


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