Abana’s Thrilling Sector IV Is Narrative Of Love, Loyalty
Written by Abigail Anaba, Sector IV is a fictional, historical romantic story set in Nigeria of 1967-1971, during the Biafran war, in Nchara in South Eastern Nigeria. It is a story of love and loss, of decisions and consequences. Sector IV has Prologue, Revelation, Exodus, Chronicles, Genesis and Epilogue.
The main character, Onyinyechi, an 18-year old girl, whose schooling is disrupted by the war. She would have graduated secondary school in 1968. As fate would have it, she runs into Duke, a young man who has great prospects and she falls in love with him. For her, it is love at first sight. Onyinyechi is preparing to wed the love of her life, Duke, when his brother arrives to deliver the shocking news that Duke is dead.
Revelation begins with Onyinyechi suspecting she is pregnant, a difficult situation for her as an unmarried woman. She eventually tells her mother about her situation after consulting with her best friend Nwaeruruo. Her mother, Rofina, initially insists on ensuring that the suspicion is not proven one way or the other but after Onyinyechi’s father, James, rejects her suggestion, she is forced to find a plan B.
Rofina convinces Okwuduwa, who has hitherto been in love with Onyinyechi but who has himself been forced to marry Ogechi – who is childless – to marry Onyinyechi, as his second wife. She believes that this will save him from the shame of childlessness and save Onyinyechi the shame of having a child out of wedlock. Her suggestion works and Onyinyechi marries Okwuduwa.
In Exodus, Onyinyechi is forced to live with a riled up Ogechi and deal with deaths, including that of her best friend and her father both of which are as a result of the ongoing war. Eventually Nchara comes under wartime attack and Okwuduwa flees with his wives and son seeking the safety of Sector IV.
Their flight takes the reader to ‘Chronicles,’ detailing events during their flight – from the gory death of Ogechi who is swallowed by a python to the deaths of Okwuduwa and most of the people who flee Nchara.
Also in this part, we are introduced to Agu, a valiant man who was once in love with Ogechi. Agu is son of the great hunter Ahamba and has unique tracking skills. His acts of valour include tracking and killing the snake that swallowed Ogechi and protecting and defending Onyinyechi in defiance of Nigerian soldiers when they eventually run into them.
The sub-story of Ije, who is briefly introduced in ‘Prologue’ as a lady from Equatorial Guinea who marries an Nchara man, is also explored. Hers is a story which emphasizes loyalty even in the face of adversity as Ije remains true to her husband even when he is struck with a malignant disease.
After Okwuduwa dies during the crossing, Onyinyechi, Ije and Agu have a smooth return to Nchara; they meet and join other groups of people from other villages who are going their way, until they encounter soldiers. The Nigerian soldiers take Ije away along with other young girls and relieve the group of every other valuable possession.
Upon reaching Nchara, Onyinyechi discovers the village has been largely untouched. Rofina who stayed behind is still alive. Okwuduwa’s uncles have taken over his house and properties and refuse to let Onyinyechi back. She is forced to return to her parents’ house and start life afresh.
The ‘Prologue’ fills in all the details that appear convoluted. How Duke, thought dead, had really faked his own death to avoid marrying Onyinyechi. Dating her has been a game to him as he wants to get back at Okwuduwa who he believes had stolen Ogechi from him. He is further convinced she is not the one when she gives herself to him just two weeks before they formalise things. To him, this is a sign of disloyalty.
Indeed, Sector IV is a enthralling piece of narrative that charm readers in its simple, supple telling. Anaba deserves praise.