Queen Moremi was married to Oranmiya son of Oduduwa, the Yoruba’s Ile Ife first king. At that time it was believed that Ile-Ife was a kingdom that was at war with an adjoining tribe who were known to them as the Forest people. Many of the Ile Ife people were being enslaved by the Forest people and although they were enraged with this they were not able to help themselves. One of the tactics the forest people used was to masquerade themselves in leaves and bamboo sticks from head to toe during a raid making the Ile ife believe they were spirits and that they were undefeatable.
In order to deal with the problem facing her people, she pledged a great sacrifice to the Spirit of the river Esimirin .S he went to a place that was raided frequently and allowed herself to be captured but because of her beauty, she ended up being married by their ruler and was made the queen. With time she realized that If someone were to pass amongst the Ìgbò warriors with a torch, they would be defeated.
After familiarizing herself with the secrets of her husband’s army she then escaped and returned to Ile Ife and revealed them to the Igbos enabling them to defeat their enemies.
After the war, she returned to the Esimirin River to fulfill her pledge. The river demanded that she offer her one and only son Olourogbo. Although she tried to plead for another way to appease the river in the end she kept her word and sacrificed her son. Once she did that the Yoruba people grieved with her and consoled her by offering to be her eternal children, a promise they keep until today. In 2017, Oba Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ile Ife, Osun State, erected a statue of Moremi in his palace. The 42 feet statue, popularly known as the “Queen Moremi Statue of Liberty,” is the tallest statue in Nigeria and the fourth tallest in Africa.