It was few minutes after 8 a.m. in the morning, Pa Agbaka had requested for water from his last wife, he has been bedridden close to five months due to a severe spinal cord accident he sustained during one of his fishing exploits.
The last wife Lady, brought water to Pa Agbaka while his other three wives were confused trying to see how they will help to save the situation. Lady raised the head of her husband a little so he could drink from the cup of water easily, after he drank the water he said ‘embana’ meaning thank you in their local dialect.
And the unforeseen sets in, his breath started seizing he could no longer be coherent in his thoughts, he tried to say something further but to no avail, Lady screamed: ‘Wuu! Wuu! Wuu!’ Aboo o! Aboo o! Aboo o! Agbaka! Agbaka! Agbaka!, other wives rushed in to see what they could do to save Agbaka’s life but, it was too late for Pa Agbaka to survive, he is gone to the great beyond. Agbaka’s household was thrown in to mourning, Agbaka’s eldest son (Owei) screamed with a loud thunderous voice ‘Papa! Papa! Papa!’ pulling; hitting his father’s leg perhaps he could be revived and gain consciousness.
Villagers were shocked with different voices wandering where the wailing, crying, screaming was coming from. Pa Agbaka’s quarter and relatives stopped their various activities and started running to the direction of Pa Agbaka’s family quarter, a step, and another step in quick succession to Pa Agbaka’s quarter in few minutes his neighborhood was filled by villagers, his room was not spared, the news of Agbaka’s death transcended through the creeks of South-South Nigeria.
Sympathisers from across the riverine area paddled their boats and canoes to sympathise with one of their own, in their multitudes, consoling in native language, ‘Aadoo’, ‘Aadoo’ , ‘Anuaa’.
An elderly woman came in and asked everyone clustering around Agbaka’s dead body to make way, she checked from the wrist; ankle and chest if there was still a little life left in the body, but to her surprise she discovered that Agbaka is dead. She shook her head in dismay signifying no hope and she ordered for a full bottle of locally brewed gin called “Apeteshe”, immediately the gin arrived and she swung into action by putting the bottle in Agbaka’s mouth she began to massage his throat making way for the alcohol to pass through to the dead man’s stomach in a bid to embalm the corpse locally.
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To be continued in next edition…watch out!