By Don Ebubeogu
I was born into a strict Catholic and prayerful family. My parents raised me to put absolute trust in God almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, according to the teachings of the Bible.
I fear no other gods and genuflect for no being in total submission. Out of courtesy and in obedience to social obligations, I bow to heads of religion and communities, as society expected.
I know practically nothing about Igbo deities and cosmology.
Two weeks ago, while waiting for my appointment with Tesco Supermarket promoters who want to distribute our Larsor Seasoning and also the new products we just developed in the UK, I walked into the British Museum of History, Arts, and Culture in London, which was founded in 1753, and has more than eight million objects in its collection.
At the mid-section of the aisle housing the African collections, I came face to face with Arọbinagụ. And suddenly, the table started vibrating. I was stunned and confused but not yet afraid.
Few other visitors around me were frozen, and for a few seconds, nobody could comprehend why the vibration was happening. It took a shrill cry by an Italian lady for one of the Museum attendants to come by. At that very moment, the glass cubicle housing Arọbinagụ shattered in our presence as soon as the attendant reached my side.
We were quickly escorted out of the Museum and taken upstairs to meet the curator, who wanted to interview us personally. When they noticed I was a Nigerian, I was isolated and taken to a private room where I filled out a form and made a copy of my passport.
The curator revealed that what happened was the second time the Museum had experienced that. The first was in 1958, before the Nigerian Independence, when a Chief Priest from Anambra visited the Museum to demand the return of Arọbinagụ.
I convinced them that I had come to London for business and had no intention of getting involved with Arọbinagụ and other African gods with a history of the Western heist.
Yesterday, while returning from a town in Anambra, I stopped at their village square to pick organic fruits. On alighting from the car, I noticed mild vibration similar to what happened in the UK. The fruits arranged in a pyramid form on a stainless tray scattered, and birds in nearby trees started flying away with the ferocious flapping of their wings. A stealth breeze circled and raised volcanic dust in the air.
It took the ear-piercing sound of the fruit seller to bring me back to reality, and at that very moment, a significant branch of the nearby tree where the birds flew out broke and crashed with loud noises. I knew it was Arọbinagụ repeating the London experience.
I quickly got back into my car, and the driver, totally shaken by what he just saw, managed to drive off with unsteady hands and legs.
This morning I woke up and noticed that my bed was vibrating. The shocking thing about this was that while the wooden frames of the bed were steady and firm, only the Foam and the pillows were shaking.
I placed the Foam on the bare floor and continued my sleep.
I called Ozii Baba Anieto and narrated my experience. Though he tried to make fun of the entire experience initially, when he was convinced that I was serious, he gave me the names of 2 Professors of Igbo history to call.
I’m still angry and completely dazed that both of them suggested that I go back to the UK to discuss with them returning Arọbinagụ to its rightful place.
I don’t want to cause any diplomatic problems for Nigeria and UK. I’m a businessman who wants no distraction. Not this time that we are about to launch three revolutionary products that will shake the foundation of the Nigerian market.
At this time, put me and our products in your prayers.
We shall never be distracted.
Arọbinagụ shall always find its way home.
Don Ebubeogu is Chairman of Tiger Foods Ltd