In the third year that Yahaya the son of Bello reigns as the Governor of the province of Kogi that there arose a great indignation against him in the land for he payeth not the wages of them that laboureth in the vineyard of the province.
2. For when Idris the son of Wada reigned over the province, the labourers receiveth not their wages in the manner it was written in the books of the law, and it grieved them bitterly.
3. And when the time was come after the fourth year that he may be appointed again as Governor that the labourers took counsel amongst themselves and said. “But how shall this thing be? Howbeit seeketh the son of Wada to rule over us again?”
4. And they conspired against him and declared unto all the people of the province saying, “behold affliction shall not rise again”. And the people rejected him, and Abubakar the son of Audu was appointed in his stead.
5. But it came to pass that Abubakar the son of Audu gave up the ghost that same day he was appointed. And he was gathered unto his people and was buried in the sepulchre of his Fathers in Ogbonicha in the district of Ofu.
6. And Yahaya the son of Bello was set upon the throne to rule over the province for he was of the same camp with Abubakar the son of Audu, and hath contended the throne with him.
7. But it came to pass that Yahaya and all his advicers and the noble men in his court did ate meat and drank wines of royalty and made merry. They also rode on great horses of iron from the West that he forgot the affliction of the people. For the wages of the labourers, he payeth not.
8. And he declared unto them, “there is no gold and silver in the treasury that I may pay thy wages as it is written in the books of the law. Be thou courageous and of long suffering”. And there was a great hunger in the land.
9. Not a few women hath cast their young at the time for the lack of bread. And many perished for the lack of gold and silver that they might go to the house of physicians to be cured of their affliction. And the people bewailed and lamented greatly.
10. And when the suffering of the people got to the ears of the great king that he sent shekels of gold and silver and of bronze in abundance to the provinces all over the kingdom that all the labourers be fully paid their wages. Twain hath he done this.
11. But it came to pass that Yahaya the son of Bello payeth not his labourers accordingly. And the people said unto him, “O Governor, is a labourer not worthy of his wages? why practiceth thou this great evil against us? pay us this day our wages that we may break bread in our house holds”
12. But the Governor replied and said unto them, wherefore sayest thou “pay us our wages?” for verily I say unto thee, many amongst thee laboureth not in the vineyard of the province and yet ye crieth out with thy voices,” pay us our wages”.
13. Therefore, the Governor made a decree that all the labourers of the province gather together in the city of Lokoja, even unto the dwelling place of the Governor that they may be counted by the head.
14. And the labourers did according to the words of the Governor. For every month they gather together in the city of Lokoja, and for two years he numbered them one after the other. This he did every month. And many amongst them perished in the wiltherness as they journeyed to the city of Lokoja.
15. But after all these things, the Governor yet payeth them not their wages accordingly.
16. But some youths who spake of the evils of the Governor were taken by the troat and casted into prison.
17. And it vexed the labourers greatly and the captain thereof declared unto them saying, “enough of thy folly, to thy tent oh ye labourers, offer thy sweat to the service of the province no more until thy wages be fully paid.”
18. And the labourers did according to the words of their captain.
19. And the Governor was vexed with anger that he spake in this manner unto the people,”why hast thou conspired with my adversaries to bring indignation upon me? God be the judge between us this day, for thou hath not appointed me to rule over thee but God”.
20. And there was a certain Officer who hath for many years diligently laboured in the service of the province and hath risen to be a captain of a thousand. But for eleven months he receiveth not his wages that he may break bread in his household. And this thing grieved him greatly.
21. when his suffering was sore that he saith in his heart, “am I better than the dead”? And he tied a rope to a tree and hung himself. And the news was heard in the entire province even across the kingdom. And there was a great indignation against the Governor
22. And there was a certain noble man from the province of Kogi by the name Dino the son of Melaye. For maketh laws in the red Chamber in the city of the great king and hath been at enmity with the Governor for a long time …
To be continued.
Written by Adakole Emmanuel J.