Echoes of Sacrifice: The Legend of Aderopo

Arikuyeri, a name whispered through generations in our village, tells a tale of sacrifice and unforeseen twists. In the ancient days when sages walked amongst us, Alegongo, our revered ruler and king, breathed his last breath. According to tradition, Arikuyeri, the abobaku, was to accompany him in death.

As one who had enjoyed the beauty and riches of the deceased king, dying with the king was a task expected not to be so uneasy for the Abobaku.

Abobaku’s escape

As word of Arikuyeri’s flight spread, disbelief gripped our community. The abobaku’s duty was sacred, and to defy it was to invite calamity upon our land.

Tomorrow, the arrival of the sole prince secluded in his mother’s village, to claim his rightful throne is expected. He’s spent much time away. He has been seen in recent years only by his parents- both deceased, and the king’s right hand man

Desperation mounted among the elders as they faced an ominous dilemma. To reverse this impending curse, the coronation demanded a sacrifice – a stammering stranger, before dawn, an impossible find.

Alternatively, the unborn son of Arikuyeri’s wife, deemed male by the oracle, offered a grim solution. The pregnant woman and her unborn son were to be sacrificed. Alongside him, the abobaku’s daughters and kin would meet a watery grave in the Ẹrọ river, a stern warning against future disobedience.

Aware of the impending doom, the prince awaited his moment, barred from his homeland until the elders’ plans reached fruition.

The sacrifice

Yet, fate intervened in the guise of a stranger, one of imposing stature with ‘abaja mefa’ tribal marks etched upon his cheeks. Alas, he also stammers. Though on any other day, he would have garnered admiration of the village damsels, today he was seized by royal guards, destined for the sacrificial altar.

As the crimson tide of his life ebbed away, the chiefs arrived, the king’s right hand man saw the dying man, only to recoil in disbelief. Beneath the scars lay the village’s prince, a deliberate victim of circumstance.

In agony, the prince decreed mercy upon Arikuyeri’s kin, absolving them of their intended fate. He embraced the ultimate sacrifice, sparing his people from impending doom. Is it not rather honourable, that one man die for the people than a whole clan should perish declares the dying prince

Thus the age-long tradition was forthwith halted. Prince Aderopo also became a beacon of love, sacrifice and empathy in our realm.

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