Myths and Legends Surrounding Agulu Lake, Anambra State.
Agulu Lake is one of the nicest scenes to behold in Agulu, Anambra state with the water stretching as far as the eyes can see. It is clean clear most times but changes to green from algae depending on the season of the year.
History of this Lake
In olden days, an elderly man in search of settlement went to Adazi-Nnukwu another town in Anambra state and asked the elders for a land to settle in. In the olden days land was not a commodity but freely shared and given. As the elders welcomed him, during their meeting, kola was brought to be served and a young child sent to get water for them to wash their hands. The stranger dismissed the idea, touched his white bears and washed his hands with the water that flowed out. The elders gave him the evil forest. It was said that late at night sounds of clearing and cutting was heard from the evil forest and in the morning the elders went to that evil forest and saw little body of water already formed. An alarmed was raised by the villagers who saw it and the lake was sent away with dirt immediately.
The elderly man left Adazi-Nnukwu and went to nearby village which is Umuowelle village in Agulu, they accepted him well and gave him a land too. He turned that place into a lake but this time he was accepted by the Agulu people. He asked that a shrine be set up for him and promises the people that none of their children will ever be killed by the crocodile that inhibits the lake and their children too will not kill his children that is the fishes and crocodile in Agulu Lake.
The crocodiles being sacred animals to the people of Agulu, cannot be killed. Legend says that these crocodiles were instrumental in delivering the town from enemy soldiers during the Nigerian civil war. It is believed that these sacred crocodiles and turtles transformed themselves into beautiful ladies and lured the soldiers unawares into the lake where they disappeared without trace. At noon the crocodiles and the turtles appear at the banks of the lake to take in sunlight.
Agulu Lake is a home to an estimated over four hundred crocodiles and water turtles. Crocodiles are not known to be man’s friend. One of the deadliest killing machines, they attack and eat animals as well as human beings; but crocodiles in Agulu Lake do not kill but rather protect the people. They also hear human voices and hearken to them. So, the crocodiles are regarded as sacred beings and cannot be killed. At noon, they appear at the bank of the Agulu Lake basking in the sun to get the temperatures they desire. According to Mr Sunday Ogu alias Ayaka, a traditionalist in Agulu, “Anybody who kills a crocodile at the Agulu Lake will suffer in several ways whether he was seen or not. For instance, if the person is a billionaire, he can become a beggar within a short time. In fact, anything can happen to the person. It is sacrilegious to kill a crocodile at Agulu Lake.
Fishing is not allowed on the lake and the crocodiles being sacred animals to the people of Agulu, cannot be killed. At noon the crocodiles and the turtles appear at the banks of the lake to take in sunlight. Anambra state which is one of the states that has traditional attractions such as scared streams, lake, with potentials for investment and tourism development of which Agulu Lake is one. Agulu Lake is not a common lake; it traditionally inclined, and it has cultural landmarks and is believed to be possessed by spirits. The lake is used for different spiritual rites performance for traditional worshippers and the water serves as a major source of medicine for different ailments, some believes that this lake gives the power to make wealth and spiritual power to be successful in life. As this lake is concerned a man cannot enter the lake immediately after having sexual intercourse with a woman. The lake does not accept/kills evildoers such as murderers and thieves. Anyone who is involved in the things the land forbids is not welcomed. If you have not offended the gods of the land, it will throw you out, even if you mistakenly fall into it and you are not a good swimmer.
Agulu Lake is not a common lake; it is traditionally inclined, and it has cultural landmarks and is believed to be possessed by spirits. The lake is used for different spiritual rites performance for traditional worshipers and the water serves as a major source of medicine for different ailments.
Finally, Agulu Lake offers tourist on excursion, boat rides and entertainment. The traditional native doctors utilize the water for different medicaments; it is being sold in bottles during the market day where people purchase it for various purposes. The lake also promotes the community economy through the fund generated from tourist and different treatment medications. Also the lake is believe to cure the “Ogbanjes” which are people been possessed by evil spirits.