How does the district commissioner coax the Igbo leaders to meet with him?  

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The District Commissioner convinces the Igbo leaders to meet with him by sending his "sweet-tongued messenger" to ask them to come meet with him a few days after Mr. Brown's church is burned down. The commissioner helps to persuade the Igbo leaders to meet with him by waiting several days and not reacting immediately to what the Igbo leaders have done. This way, they are calmer when they meet with him, and they do not expect him to seek retribution. Also, while they show up with their machetes, he politely invites them to speak as friends. He tells them, referring to the destruction of the church, "Let us talk about it like friends and find a way of ensuring that it does not happen again." He greets them alone and then tells them that he is going to invite in his friends to listen to their grievances. It is only then, after the Igbo leaders have put down their machetes, that British men come in to arrest them. 


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There had been a history of the District Commissioner asking the men of the tribe to meet with him so there was not any great concern at first. He sent his "sweet-tongued messenger" to them in order to invite them to meet with him in his headquarters. It is said that he received them "politely" and asked them to speak "as friends" so that they could be sure that nothing like what had happened would happen again.

As they sit and talk, he suggests that the other men may want to come in and hear the story. What the elders from Umuofia do not realize is that the other men are coming in to arrest them. It happens so quickly that they do not even have time to consider resisting and they are led away to the cells.

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