We had come to save the indigenes, my two friends and I, as part of our NYSC program; Demi and I were doctors, Ebuka a microbiologist.
We were to use this experience to start our own NGO and change the world. On our arrival, the locals were warm and took to us easily and we cared for them as best as we could.
And when you bring back to life dying people whose helpless families were too poor or ignorant to save them, you are adored like a diety, hubris sets in, you realize you are always in the right!
We were treating a young boy who had a large leg wound that had gotten so badly infected it had become internally septic, and his family, not seeing immediate improvement, had consulted the village Shaman separately: When the boy died shortly after, we heard of the native doctor’s involvement.
Ebuka and I were sad but Demi was incensed.
Accusing the shaman of killing the boy, He’d stormed off alone to the Shaman’s house to confront him.
Demi told me later that he was only shouting at the man, but his son had interferred, attacked him physically. He said he was defending himself when he struck back, but the son, the shaman’s only son, had fallen down dead, hit too hard on the head – broken skull.
Demi said he panicked and ran, but the shaman had tried to head him off with a dane gun, but that he was stronger – adrenaline aided, he pointed out – and had gotten the gun from the Man and shot him instead.
He ran to where we were staying to tell us but I was the only one at home. By the time he finished telling his story, we heard a commotion coming in our direction, we suspected the worst – they were coming for us.
We could not wait to find out, we just ran without knowing where Ebuka was, stole a boat from the jetty and fled to the mainland.
We never saw Ebuka again.