The city of Arochukwu also referred to as Aro Oké-Igbo, is the third-largest city in Abia State. Arochukwu is made up of 19 villages with an overall leader called Obong or Eze Aro.
There are several historic tourist sites in the city of Arochukwu. And among them are the mystic Ibini Ukpabi shrine, the slave routes, and other relics.
Ibini Ukabi or the Long Juju Shrine is prominent for its sacred sense of mystic beauty, it is place where the perpetrators of crimes were judged. Tales have it that back then in the kingdom of Arochukwu; Ibini Ukpabi was the most powerful deity in Igboland, during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade era.
Being a kind of supreme court, whose judgment was final, there was no appeal. Those at trial would enter the temple complex ready to face the judgment of Chukwu (God). It is here that you will find the throne of judgment – the dark presence (“the Holy of Holies”). Those who were found guilty of said crimes were made to walk into the dark tunnels. Those who were found innocent went back home to their families.
There is also a hill of rags; where the condemned were instructed to undress and leave their clothes before they disappeared into the tunnels around the hill. The long juju slave route is a dark kilometre-long terrifying series of tunnels.
There is a red river where it is said that as the guilty disappeared; the red water flowing down the stream would be a sign to the relatives, that the victims were dead.
The end of Long Juju Slave
However, stories have it that through a feature known as Iyi-Eke – an outlet to “Onu Asu Bekee”; the guilty blindfolded victims were led in waiting for boats that took the newly enslaved to Calabar for onward transportation to Ala Bekee (Whiteman’s land).
However, the sacred stronghold was destroyed by the British as their quest for colonial power prompted them to wage war on the Long Juju Shrine and the network it had established in the region.
The Long Juju slave route of Arochukwu still remains an astonishing destination for tourists visiting Abia State, Nigeria.