Once upon a time, before Shokwa clan called the rains, before the Ågbaat fully understood war and archery, and when the Åku performed rituals to defend Åtyap land, a handsome man lived in the forest of Mabåtådok [Hau. Zango]. He did not have parents for he was from the gods.
His strength equaled that of no man! He had shiny ebony skin, he was a fine warrior whose good looks and physical looks could rip women’s rapper off their thighs. His blood flowed like a stream that from afar one could count all his veins as they ran throughout his body like dis-tributaries of rivers Niger and Benue combined. While growing, he lived in the forest, he fed on honey comb and food from the gods. All the spiritual leaders of the Åku clan would often enter the forest to make sacrifices. They were amazed by his gentle, but yet warrior-like looks. The Åku chief priest never told their king about this man. He is fully grown in strength and left every Åtyap person astonished. Everyone began speaking about this strong man. Soon, words reached the ågwam [king]. The ågwam [king] then wanted this warrior for himself; he wanted an unbeatable protection for the Åtyap, protection against invasion and war. So, he sent his palace guards to fetch this man. The king’s guards were stricken by lightning.
This event left the ågwam [king] worried about what next to do and reason why this man lived in the Mabåtadok [Hau. Zango] forest and where he was from. The ågwam [king] summoned the Åku chief priest for explanation. The chief priest revealed that a great calamity was to befall Åtyap land, and that the Ågbaat clan were to provide answers. The chief priest added that the gods revealed that the warrior must continue living in the Mabåtådok [Hau. Zango] forest. This was to allow communication with the gods, according to the Åbwoi religion. The giant was to be released on the day the calamity befalls. Meanwhile, the Shokwa clan continued to summon the rains, and the land became very fertile. Suddenly, lightning and thunder ravaged everywhere! Åliens!
This was the evil army from the inner crust of the earth. All the priests and spiritualists gathered and offered sacrifice to the Åbwoi god. The priests ran into the forest to unleash the warrior man, but on reaching there, they only found his dry bones, for the evil army had stricken him dead.
The Ågbaad clan secured the city wall (or borders). The gods revealed that for the battle to be won against the evil army, force is needed.
The Shokwa summoned the rains, the Åku, the winds. In the valley where the warrior’s bones lay, all the spiritual leaders gathered and chanted “STRENGTH AND WARFARE REDUCED TO DUST AND BONES, WE HOOK SWORDS AROUND OUR WAISTS. ARISE THE SPIRITS!! FIGHT, FIGHT FOR US AGAINST OUR FOES.” The rains fell for hours, the sun stood still and the winds blew strongly from all cardinals. The east winds aroused the warrior’s bones and put them in skeletal order, the western winds blew breath and life into the warrior. Lightning stroke and multiplied the warrior into thousands. The battle was fought, and won and peace was restored to the atyap land. Every man lived happily hence, with their neighbors.
Later, the warrior lived among men and was worshipped. Much later, one day, he went fishing alone as usual. Black clouds gathered above him as a wild wind swooped. He paddled his boat against the wind, but to no avail. He was blown away until he disappeared. No one was able to find the whereabout of the warrior. The spirits of the ancestors, the god of the warrior was continually worshipped according to the Åbwoi religion.
Written by: by Ajet Hosea Ishaya (With minor editions by ChoMYAA)