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African StoriesWhy The Fishes In Inachalo River In Kogi State, Nigeria Are Forbidden...

Why The Fishes In Inachalo River In Kogi State, Nigeria Are Forbidden To Eat

One of Nigeria’s most mysterious and wonderful places is the Inachalo River in Kogi State. The natives believe the place to be highly cursed and its fish are forbidden for consumption. According to speculations, when you catch a fish from the river and attempt to cook it for consumption, the fish will remain uncooked and raw. It will remain so no matter what amount of heat you may want to apply. However, there is a long historical explanation behind the Inachalo River.

The grave and statue of Princess Oma-Idoko

The grave of the ancient Princess Oma-Odoko is situated near the river. Here lies the story!

During the tribal conflict between the Igala and Jukun kingdoms, King Idoko made a royal proclamation that the Inachalo river is poisoned as a tool to weaken the Jukun warriors who depended on the river for their daily source of food and water whenever they were on the offensive attack on the Igala Kingdom.

Consequently, many Jukun soldiers died as a result of starvation and food poisoning during the Igala-Jukun war. During the conflict between the two warring kingdoms, Princess Oma-Odoko, the daughter of Attah Idoko, who served as the ruler of the Igala kingdom, was buried alive together with nine other females to end the war and bring peace to Igala land. The Princess’s act was voluntary. She was sacrificed in 1834 at the Inachalo River.


It is said that any fish caught in the Inachalo river can neither be cooked nor boiled. No matter how long it is boiled or cooked, the Inachalo fish will always remain uncooked. Other revelations say that the fish are not the regular breed of tilapia or catfish, but rather a strange deformed class of fish. The fish are not eaten by the people. Some believe that if you are hurt by fish bones, the damage will never heal. These revelations are likely information from the indigenes of Kogi State and it remains a mystery.

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