Ikwa village: 1972
Ikwa was a town in the in-lands of the eastern Nigeria. It was a town whose nook and crannies were yet to be explored. Development was far from it and most people there were farmers and hunters. Just few of them were fisher men.
There were vast plain farm lands, large expanse of forests and few rivers and streams. In one of the forests was located a deity known for vengeance. It was a female deity, Muanete, whose actions were swift and intense. That forest of Muanete was filled with corpses and skeletal bones of her victims.
It was on the rainy season of 1802; the elders of Ikwa on a bid to wage a war against the people of Igada, their neighboring town’s incessant invasion on their lands and people, they did a very horrible sacrifice to a presumed god of war called Mokobia. Mokobia was a lenient God whom was believed to have helped the people of Ikwa to win wars. But as at the time the people of Igada were invading them, they had always lost to the wars which lead them to making a sacrifice- one too many.
On the day of the sacrifice, strong men were sent out very early after cock crow to get a virgin maiden and a pregnant woman. It was not sundown before they came with a young girl and her pregnant mother. Before the elders, the woman pleaded for her daughter to be freed but her cry and pleas fell upon deaf ears. The worst thing was done to the young girl. The chief priest performing the sacrifice made some incantations and came up with a horrible idea of how to make that deity, Mokobia a stronger deity.
Mokobia was just a little shrine whose establishment was of animal blood and daily sacrifices of cockerels. But due to luck during war times, they came to make it a bigger deity; believing it’s their god of war. When it was obvious that Mokobia was sterile, they sought to make it more responsive to their demands by involving human lives.
The chief priest told the elders that the virgin girl must be deflowered in her mother’s presence before the proper sacrifice was to be done. They young men that brought them were ordered to force themselves into that young virgin girl one after another. The young men were seven in numbers and all had their way into the girl while her heart broken pregnant mother watched. After the harsh rape, the girl was profusely bleeding and almost dead.
Tied back to back were a pregnant mother and her daughter. After much incantation from the priest, the sacrificial mother and child were thrown into a deeply dug pit in a standing position. They were meant to die on their own accord when they must have starved. Many days elapsed and the woman was still alive with the weight of her already dead daughter pulling on her. The young girl died the day after they were thrown into the pit and had gotten rotten before the eyes of her pregnant mother whom soon followed suit after eight days of agony, pain, hunger and stench.
The elders and the chief priest returned to the forest and completed the sacrifice. They filled the dug hole with clay first and then loamy soil. On top of the grave so to say, was planted the ‘fertility plant’ which is called Ogirisi in Igbo, Akoko in Yoruba and Aduruku in Hausa.
An alter was built over the Ogirisi with a representing effigy as a carved image of a pregnant woman and a girl covering her private with both hands.
Ever since then, Muanete has been of great protection to the people of Ikwa but was a very wicked deity whose acts and punishment never stopped at just the offender but his or her entire family.
“Giving monkey water with a cup is not a problem but getting the cup back from it”. Take a case of cheating, stealing and other acts to Muanete and she will clear the entire household. Known for her harsh and swift actions, other towns stopped oppressing Ikwa people but then, Ikwa knew no peace as people were dying mysteriously.
watch out for the present day ikwa