Moremi Statue of Liberty – The Tallest Statue in Nigeria
The Story of a Brave African Woman
The Moremi Statue of Liberty located in Ile Ife, Osun State, was built in honour of Queen Moremi Ajasoro. A heroine who saved her people from the snare of oppressors and helped them win the battle against their enemies.
The history of Moremi Ajasoro is one of the most important in the history of the Yoruba people. The Moremi Statue of Liberty serves as a remembrance of her bravery in delivering her people from the Igbo/Ugbo (forest) people. Legend has it that she consulted the gods and promised to offer a great sacrifice to the gods.
Igbo in the Yoruba language means forest. It does not in any way relate to the Igbo tribe in Nigeria now.
History of Moremi Ajasoro
Queen Moremi was married to Oranmiyan, the last son of Oduduwa. Oduduwa is the progenitor of the Yoruba people. Though, Oranmiyan was the youngest son of Oduduwa. He was the chosen heir to the throne. Queen Moremi was the first wife of Oranmiyan. She was born in Offa into a Royal family. She became one of the greatest women in Yoruba history after her brave and heroin act in liberating her people from the Igbo (forest) people. A neighbouring village that has been enslaving, kidnapping and capturing the people of Ile Ife.
She consulted the spirit of Esimirin river where she pledges to give her most precious item if the gods could deliver her people from the Igbo (forest people)
Video of The Statue of Queen Moremi
About the Statue of Moremi
The Moremi Statue of Liberty is about forty-two feet tall, it is the tallest statue in Nigeria and the fourth in Africa. The Moremi statue is built on the same spot that Moremi Ajasori lived many centuries ago. It is within proximity from the Ooni of Ife palace.
Moremi statue was constructed by locals which comprise of over 200 youths, while the material was locally sourced from all the 774 local governments in Nigeria.
The Moremi Statue was built, unveiled and commissioned by the Ooni of Ife Ogunwusi on November 2016.
Moremi and the Igbo Forest people
The invasion of these forest people was like an Alien invasion to the residents of Ile Ife who thought they were spirits. They were always dressed in raffia palms and covered with a mask which made the people scared of them.
Moremi consulted the goddess of the river who asked for her most precious possession. She quickly accepted the deal without thinking about it. She was rich and powerful and thought, she would be able to afford anything the goddess would ask of her. Moremi was instructed by the riverine goddess to deliberately let the forest natives capture her. A move intended to spy on the Igbo people. The forest people kidnapped her, that was the beginning of the change. Without wasting time, the King of the Igbo people fell in love with her because of her beauty. She became part of the Igbo people’s colony. She mastered all their skills and learned all their hidden secrets. This discovery made her realise the Igbo forest people were not spirits or aliens as they earlier thought. They were only dressed in raffia palms and masks to shield their identity.
After learning about them, she escaped and revealed all she knew to her husband. This intel led to defeating the forest people. Part of the information provided by Queen Moremi to the army was to invade them with burning torches. This is why her statue has a burning torch.
Immediately the forest people try to attack, they were repelled with burning torches igniting and lighting them up in flames which led them to be defeated and never to return. The Igbo people were defeated and captured.
The goddess and the Sacrifice
After the battle was over, Queen Moremi Ajasoro decided to fulfil the vows she made to the goddess. She went back to thank the goddess and also to fulfil her promises. On getting there, she brought different animals to make sacrifices to the goddess. The goddess, however, demanded her only son, Olurogbo. She pleaded with the river goddess, the ultimate sacrifice was her only son. She had no choice but to offer her only son to the goddess. This sad tale quickly spread across the town, the entire Ile Ife mourned with her and made a promise that they will always be her children. A promise they have kept to date. This is why till date the locals of Ile Ife are known as the children of Queen Moremi Ajasoro.
The Edi Festival to Celebrate the Independence of Ile Ife
The Edi Festival was instituted in celebration of the liberation of Ile Ife people. It marks the independence of Ife, the festival is still celebrated till date in honour of Queen Moremi Ajasoro.
Tourist Attractions Close To Moremi Statue
Ile Oodua (Ooni of Ife Palace)
Erin Ijesha Waterfall