In the olden days, when slave trade was in vogue, there lived a man in Owa Kingdom. He was called Ocheowa for he was the only one that could protect the kingdom from the hands of the slave merchants.
Ocheowa married three wives, who gave birth to a son, each. The first son was named Ibe. The second son, Eyo, while the third son was called Isa.
They lived happily as a family and collectively protected their territory against the slave merchants.
Ocheowa, their father later died as he was very old. The kingdom began to witness lapses and an influx of slave merchants.
Ibe and his brothers couldn't explore their father's tactics which had kept the slave traders off their kingdom.
When they saw that they could not protect the kingdom, they went into agreement with the slave merchants. They came to a term that the people of Owa Kingdom must be protected by the merchants. They also agreed that slave traders should explore the natural resources richly endowed in the kingdom.
The slave traders were very happy with the agreement. They knew they could make more money from selling raw materials than from trading on humans.
They set up a government, and began to loot the generated revenue and export the raw materials to their country. They did this for over three decades, yet Owas weren't feeling the presence of the government in their kingdom, as there were no schools, hospitals, roads, water, electricity, just to mention a few.
This triggered a heavy protest. Ibe, Eyo, and Isa mobilised Owas. They demanded that the foreigners must go. They sought assistance from neighbouring kingdoms and synergized with powerful kings who aided them to get rid of the foreigners.
When the slave merchants left the kingdom, Isa was made the head, for he was very close to the merchants and knew how the government was run.
Things began to work well for Owas. They set up a formidable security guard that ensured that Owa Kingdom was hell to the slave merchants.
When the kingdom had grown to an extent, and there was a need for an expansion, Ibe, Eyo, and Isa came to a term that while Owa would be made headquarters, each of them would move to the east, west, and north.
With their descendants, Ibe headed towards the east, Eyo went to the west, while Isa moved to the north.
They kept on running the government, and developing the entire regions - east, west, and north.
It was a blissful government, where everyone was treated equally. They lived in peace for many years.
Crisis set in when this generation that formed the government died. Isa was the last person among his brothers to join his ancestors. After his burial, Owas demanded a new king to lead them and pilot the affairs of the kingdom.
The descendants of Isa affirmed that it was their inalienable right to keep the kingship within the descendants of Isa Ocheowa.
The descendants of Ibe and Eyo on the other hand argued that Ocheowa was their great-grandfather, who gave birth to Isa, Ibe, and Eyo, adding that they were all born kings. They insisted that henceforth, the kingship must be rotated within the descendants of Ocheowa, but not Isa Ocheowa.
This caused disunity among them. When the pressure was intense, and Isa's descendants could not curtail it, they quickly went into dialogue with the west, Eyo's descendants.
They agreed that a king should come from the west to succeed Isa. They also agreed that the kingship should be rotated within the two regions - west and north.
The east revolted when they heard of this gang up against them. Ibe Ocheowa was the first son of Ocheowa, and should be considered first, if the kingship should be rotational.
There was war in the kingdom. Eyo and Isa's descendants synergized against the descendants of Ibe. En masse, they were massacred. If not for the intervention of the neighbouring kingdoms, Ibe Ocheowa's descendants would have been completely wiped out from the surface of the earth.
After the crisis, the east being the descendants of Ibe was completely silenced. The north and the west became their full-time colonial masters. Hardly would they talk or make any contribution. They lived like slaves in their own land for over fifty years.
When Isa's descendants became the king again, the region vowed to keep the throne within the reach of Isa's descendants only.
This caused another round of crises in the kingdom. The east and the west formed a union against the quest of the north.
They protested, and demanded equal rights, else, they went their separate ways.
The protest kept on lingering, growing day by day. The north couldn't allow this to happen, for they may not survive if their revolting brothers were let go.
They tried as much as they could to see that the kingdom was not divided, though they failed to accept the fact that Owa Kingdom belonged to the descendants of Ocheowa, and the kingship should be rotated among the three regions.
Each time the north used the Kingdom Security Guards against the protesting regions, they would raise an alarm. The neighbouring kingdoms would in turn intervene.
This crisis kept on eating deep into the kingdom's unity. War later broke. The Kingdom Security Guards divided, each retreated to its region.
This weakened the Northern Security Guards. Their strength could no longer protect the Kingdom.
Eastern and Western Guards moved in unison. They launched an attack on the throne and captured the king.
They brought him to the Ocheowa Central Square where his garment was torn into three, as each region parted with a piece. An indication that the kingdom has been divided and never to meet again.
© 2022 Chigbo Douglas Chiedozie