THE MOVING OF THE RESIDENCE OF OMENUKO AND HIS BROTHERS
Omenuko and his brothers then moved their residence to Ikpa Oyi and occupied themselves with housebuilding. As you know, Omenuko had a large household; Okorafo and his people were also numerous; Nwabueze and his people; Ogbonna and his wife and their mother and the resident workers who lived in Omenuko's house. Because of all of these people they needed to build many houses. They then tried to find out if the Mgborogwu people would help them in the house-building, but they refused. Because of this, Omenuko did not think of building a fine house at first, but instead concentrated on building houses which would accommodate his and his people's possessions. He then built several houses in Ikpa Oyi, but these houses were very small.
When he finished building them, he went and said to the Mgborogwu people, "Please, come and give us a hand to bring our things to Ikpa Oyi." They refused. Omenuko then said to them, "Oh! I thought the reason you refused to come and help me build a house was that the place where I was building my house was bad bush, but now that I have finished my house and ask you to help me move my things, you still refuse. Is this a good way to behave toward me?" So Omenuko and his brothers did everything themselves, both building the houses and moving all their possessions.
Omenuko then asked the Mgborogwu people if anyone wanted to buy the houses where he and his brothers had lived [in Mgborogwu land]. Some of the Mgborogwu people thought that Omenuko and his brothers felt hostility toward them and they did not want to say, "Yes, we want to." But those who thought that they and Omenuko were friends said, "Master, if you will give us a good market price for the house, we will buy it." He said to them, "Promise that you will buy and I shall not fail to sell to you." One person then came out and said that he wanted a house, and another came out as well and said that he wanted a house. Only a few people agreed at first, but after seeing what the others did, there were many who wanted to buy those houses. He then knew, because of the bidding, which ones seriously wanted to buy houses. In this way he knew to whom he would give a house and to whom he would not give one. He then gave free of charge to all those who wanted to buy a house, both his own and his brothers' houses.
He then told Obiefula to prepare himself--that on the day after those who had said they would come to view his new house had come and gone, he and Obiefula would go to D.C. and talk to him concerning his Warrant. Obiefula replied, "All right, sir." After those people had come and gone, Omenuko sent a messenger, telling him to go and tell Obiefula that they would travel three days from that time, and go to see D.C. The messenger went and delivered the message as he was told. Three days later, Omenuko went out to meet the youth, Obiefula, because the road that they would take was near Obiefula's house. The two of them traveled to Awka, met with D.C., and told him what they wanted. D.C. then added Obiefula's name in the place where the names of the other chiefs were. Omenuko then said to Obiefula, "Ask him yourself if that means that you have become the chief now." He asked him as he was told to ask.
D.C. then said to him, "Yes, you are a chief now. If I need some workers or bearers or some yams, you should not fail to provide them. Also, you should not fail to take good care of your people. It is no longer Omenuko's problem. When Omenuko governed the town there were no disturbances. Omenuko will govern those who are living with him in that place, in the new land. Do you understand? You yourself will govern those who live in your old home. Do you understand? If there is anything that is too much for you to handle, you must not fail to go and tell Omenuko so that he can tell you how to handle it. Do you understand?" Obiefula said, "Yes." D.C. then told them to leave, and they left.
When they reached home, there was rejoicing everywhere in all the villages of the Mgborogwu people. This meant that Obiefula's people were happy that they had gotten back the Warrant of their master, Mgborogwu; Omenuko's people were happy that their leader, Omenuko, held his own Warrant instead of one belonging to someone else.
Omenuko then sent messages to the other chiefs inviting them to come and visit him in his home, because he had finished building the house which had caused him to miss attending court for three months. They came and looked at his house and praised it as a great accomplishment. Some of them gave him ten shillings, some gave him five shillings; each chief gave what he could afford. Omenuko thanked them very much. After giving them various kinds of food and drink, he told them how he and Obiefula had gone to the D.C. and told D.C. the situation concerning Obiefula's Warrant. D.C. had agreed, had written Obiefula's name in the place where the chiefs' names are recorded, had told him that he would be receiving the instructions that the other chiefs were receiving, and had also said, "If any message reaches you and you do not act on it, it is not Omenuko's problem. From now on you will carry on the governing of your people as Omenuko used to do. Omenuko will take care of those who are in the new dwelling."
When the other chiefs heard these words, they wholeheartedly joined their friend Omenuko in rejoicing, because it would not have been good to take away a Warrant from Omenuko. The chiefs then went home. Omenuko then called together his brothers and his mother and they all came and ate and drank. Omenuko told his brothers, "If I am alive today, God in heaven saved my life through your hands. My brothers, listen. Okorafo, go to the court clerk so he can order for you a machine that speaks from the land of the Whites. Whatever it costs, I will pay it for you." He also said to Nwabueze, "Go to the bank or the market in Onitsha--I will give you the money to buy a bicycle of your own." He said to Ogbonna, "Look for a beautiful young girl from a good town and a good family--I will give you money to pay the girl's parents so she can be yours." Then he said, "My brothers, there is one thing that prevents me from sleeping whenever I think of it." They asked him, "What is that?" He replied, "Those other people whom I sold. I can never forget." His brothers told him that they would be praying to God in heaven to do as He thought would be good concerning those people. Omenuko kept silent, thinking about those people.