Ara was one of the most powerful towns in Ekiti in the early 1850s but by August 1855, the once strong town had become a shadow of itself.

It all started when the townsmen turned their backs on their former leader (The Alara of Ara) for misuse of power and bad governance.

They claimed he had committed several unspeakable atrocities against the Ara people. This led to his exile from Ara town.

During his exile, another ruler, Chief Elejofi was installed and for a second, it seemed like all was fine until news of the former Alara of Ara forming an alliance with the Ibadan of Ara.

How The Ara People of Ekiti Commited Mass Suicide To Avoid Enslavement

At the time, Ibadan was positioning itself to replace the fallen Oyo imperial power.

To prevent enslavement by the ravaging Ibadan army, the Ara people started committing suicide.

The leader, Chief Elejofi was the first to commit suicide.

With the help of his first son, he destroyed his properties, killed his family and himself.

Several members of the town soon followed suit.

The Ibadan army got to Ara and restored the former Alara as the ruler.

Those who couldn’t commit suicide were forced to accept him out of fear.

Ara remained scanty for many years until some of its exiled descendants returned home.

Have you heard this story before?

The image used above is not related to any of the historical events in this article.

  1. Nigeria: Ara – Kingdom On Clay; This Day Live, All Africa
  2. Some Hints About The History Of Ara-Ekiti – Ijero Kingdom Facebook page
  3. Ara Suicide – Litcaf
  4. The History Of Ibadan, The City Of Heroes – Teslim Opemipo Omipidan, OldNaija
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