From the beginning of time, stronger empires and tribes have always oppressed the weaker ones. This is a simple case of the strong getting stronger and the weak getting weaker. Under King Ghezo, Dahomey Empire grew strong and ruthless.
Their manner of slave raiding and attacking other neighbouring states was very ruthless. Abeokuta was their constant victim of harassment; they invaded Abeokuta 4 times and two out of the four raids were very deadly.
The invasion of Abeokuta in the year 1851 ( the same year that the British Naval force bombarded Lagos), was the attack that revealed the secret weapon of the Dahomey nation. Their secret was their ruthless and deadly Amazons.
Intelligence report had already reached Egba (Abeokuta) chiefs about the invasion that would happen at any time. Some of the Egba chiefs did not take the warning seriously, except for the Sagbua, and the Balogun of Ikija, Balogun Ogunbona, who was also known for his gift of foresight.
They assembled some of their people to repair the city walls around Aro (where the current Psychiatric hospital is located in Abeokuta), but the rest of the city walls was in a bad shape.
The Dahomey Amazons were already concluding their war rituals before they would match to Abeokuta. Historical accounts said that they were accompanied by a band leader that had a warriors mark of red and black on his body.The Amazons swore not to sleep, rest or eat until Abeokuta falls and burns.
As the Amazons matched towards Abeokuta, they captured a small town known as Ishaga, that was only 17 miles away from Abeaokuta.
They forced the Bále and people of Ishaga to pledge their loyalty to them.The Bààlé of Ishaga, plead with the Dahomeans to delay the time of their attack on Abeokuta, he advised them to attack from the side of Abeokuta walls that has already fallen to the ground. This plan was to give Abeokuta more time to prepare for the attack.
On Monday the 3rd of March, 1851,the Dahomean soldiers entered Abeokuta. They were marching towards the gate that’s located at Aro with smiles and determination on their faces. Few Egba chiefs and warriors went out to attack the Dahomey Amazons, but they couldn’t withstand the strength of the Dahomean Amazons. The Dohomean soldiers were bulletproof to the guns and arrows of the Egba soldiers, the Dahomean Amazons tied skulls all around their waists.
There’s a rumour that the Dahomean Amazons used to drink from the skull of their enemies. It was during the invasion of 1851, Balogun Ogunbona of Ikjia and Sokenu who was the seriki of Abeokuta, displayed their legendary bravery by fighting to defend Abeokuta with their lives.
The walls at Aro were filled with blood stains and bodies all around. The Dahomey warriors did not stop or rest, they climbed the bodies and ensured they were truly dead. Legend say that the Dahomey warriors were not ordinary, their strength was very unusual and no man could withstand them in a fight.
It was after the people of Egba land beheaded three of the Dahomean women, that they discovered that it was women they’ve been fighting against.
The mere fact that they fought with women and almost lost the battle, pissed them off. They said that it was a shame to go home and tell their people that it’s been women that has been fighting and killing them all these years.They had a meeting and made drastic plans, they were finally able to push the Amazons back on the third day, March 6, 1851.
The Dahomean killed more of Egba soldiers and also took some others captive, including the skulls of the unfortunate victims that they met on their way back home.
The Egba warriors and the Alake, started looking for another way to change the story of their people. How will they tell people that it’s women that are oppressing them, but this wasn’t the last attack the the people of Egba land will suffer.
Dohomey Amazons invaded Abeokuta again on the 15th of March, 1864 at exactly 7:am in the morning. The second invasion was better than the first one for the Egba people, but they still suffered in the hands of the Dahomean Amazons.
One year later, Abeokuta was finally avenged my Balogun John Okenla, who raided Dahomey and avenged for the Egba people in retaliation to their previous attacks on his people.
After two major attacks and how they almost brought down the down the ancient town of Abeokuta, the notorious exploits of the fearless Dahomey Amazons will never be forgotten in history.
Content created and supplied by: Unapapa (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More