We always go there on Wednesday and another group on Saturday’s. We usually share ourselves into three groups and tackle the four rooms and parlors our parish catechist occupies. Whether if it was by his insight that he selected the alter boys and girls guards the least parish assigned duties group to be cleaning his houses twice in a week, we don’t know.
We have done it for nearly two and half year without seeing anything wrong with it until Rumours began spreading like wildfire that the priest don't have any knowledge of that duty. We had thought that it was parish duty that we were engaged on weekly till then.
It took the priest seven days of in which we didn’t do the duty to investigate the incident and on the following week, the catechist was given the boot.
In walks Mr. Richards Johnluck.He was one of the few church prefects that can read and write well. He was not even the assistant to the booted Mr. John Okolo. Why and how of the priests decision to enthrone him, many don’t know. Not as if people has anything against him or something like that, the man is just like any other nominal members of the Catholic men organization( CMO). He doesn’t market himself like other men that attaches themselves in everything going on in the parish, those that were using parish to market their family name and give it weight most don’t deserve.
Maybe because the man don’t have money, no competing power. Anyway, many see him as not being here or there so no one was complaining. He showed enthusiasm for the work which might be the reason the priest picked him. He seems to have been studying all the post required for he immediately fit in to the task perfectly that many were impressed.
Two weeks into the post, pattern began to emerge that was immediately picked up by those monitoring him. Mr. Richards turned himself into Chief judge on the alter. Most still don’t see anything wrong with his action and utterances for he seems to be talking in favour of the poor community of the parish. He will face the landlords once he got information that any of them is threatening to evict any member of the parish from his house for none payment of rent for months. Most were wondering whether what was coming out of his mouth was from the priest or not.
Six months into the post, Mr. Richard has acquired priest like power in the parish. During Tuesday office hours, he will at times asked the people that came to see the priest to tell him their problems for him to relay to the priest. Most found that arrangement unacceptable that they began voicing out their displeasure openly. The priest immediately stopped the practice that he don’t have knowledge of which the catechist attributed to the impatience of the people.
“ Once the priest is late, they would start murmuring. I have educated them on the sinfulness of speaking against the servants of God but it seems as if I was talking to myself. They kept repeating it over, over and over again. So I came out with the solution to help those that felt that they had appointments that were more important than the office they came. I really don’t understand these people”
The priest had no reply to his utterances, to some that were reading in-depth the meaning into his excuses, it seems as if he smartly pushed the blame to the priest while pretending to be blaming the people.
Master Chris Ike was 18 when he started driving 1513 lorry carrying goods from one region to the other. Like most youths of that age, recklessness was his better half. Over speeding was the way of showcasing his manhood. He has been cautioned many times by the well wishers, but it seems as if overspending was the only way he was taught how to drive.
The roads were full of potholes, shallow and twisted in such a way that even the smaller cars found them annoying to navigate. Add no side roads light to the list and see why it was pure horror to the sound drivers but never to master Chris.
It seems as if his headlight has qualities other drivers own don’t have or maybe his eyes has abilities other people’s eyes don't have. What the fuck are these guys always complains about he usually queries himself. He had been plying the route for seven months now without problems.
One Monday morning, his father got an early morning call, asking him to come to Ubiri junction to identify whether the body of the driver laying on the ground there belong to his son.
Meanwhile, Mr. Richard Johnluck was busy solidifying himself in the parish that most people have come to see his antics as being normal. He has observed for long and noticed that families attending masses at the parish were mostly vanity inclined, he figured out way to feed their vanity while feeding his own pocket. He did his mathematics well and started using his office to solicit favours while pretending that he was the one rendering the favours.
He started using announcement time in the church to entice some people. He noticed that people like their names being mentioned clearly with added flavors during Sunday announcements, he started calling some names in lower keys and some in higher keys to the annoyance of many and delight of others. Some that book their names or events in the announcement pages of Sunday bulletins don’t even see their names there, yet, their names would be announced orally in lower keys. When they complained, his defense was that the bulletins has gone to the press before they came.
“Please, pay attention to the announcements.” He began this passed Sunday.
“There will be registrations for marriage courses this Tuesday, please be punctual.
Zone nine of the catholic women organization( CWO) will tidy the church on Saturday, please, all are required to be there.
The family of late master Chris will be having their wake keep on Saturday, all must be there. Time is 8:00pm.
There will be registration of new pupils and students in our parish school, please bring your wards on Tuesday.
Like I have said, the family of late master Chris would be having their wake keep on Saturday, all must be there.
If you still owing the church, please settle your debts the church need the money for various projects.
Don’t forget that the family of late master Chris will be having their wake keep on Saturday, please……..”
“Catechist, we all will be there, we have heard you.” The priest quipped.
On Tuesday office hour, the assistant Catechist was seem on the catechist table and Rumours began spreading that Mr. Richards Johnluck has gone the way of his predecessor.