"But what worries me is that my father makes Nwafo think he will be chosen. If tomorrow as you say Ulu chooses another person there will be strife in the family. My father will not be there then and it will all rattle around my own head."
The old man and his friend's son talked for a long time. When Edogo finally rose to go…Akuebue promised to talk to Ezeulu. He felt pity and a little contempt for the young man. Why could he not open his mouth like a man and say that he wanted to be priest instead of hiding behind Oduche and Obika? That was why Ezeulu never counted him among people.
And yet Akuebue felt sorry for Edogo. He knew how a man's first son must feel to be pushed back so that the younger ones might come forward to receive favour. No doubt that was why in the first days of Umuaro, Ulu chose to give only one son to his Chief Priests, for seven generations. (12.37, 40-41)
For seven generations, the priest of Ulu had only one son, and thus the mantle of priesthood passed to that one son. Finally, there is a generation with several sons, so the question of who will get the priesthood becomes a real question and a source of conflict. Though Edogo claims he doesn't want to become the next priest of Ulu, Akuebue believes otherwise. They both wonder if Ezeulu is angling things so that his favorite son, Nwafo, will be the automatic choice of the deity. But if Ulu chooses somebody else – Ulu is the deity after all, and has the final say – the strife in the family will be unendurable.