The discovery of an ancient village in Benin Republic could forever alter our understanding of early civilization.

Igbale Aiye is a village in the West African nation believed to be the origin of mankind.

The village, which is estimated to be 450,000 years old, is allegedly older than Egypt’s pyramids.

The uniqueness of the village is its underground tunnel.

According to research by archaeologists and ethnographers, the people who constructed the Great Egypt Pyramid actually came from that village.

History Or Tell-tale?

Discovered some years ago by a curious adventurer, Olofin II Olofindji Akande from Ajile Aye in Benin Republic, the village covering about 400 kilometres is located in Apotoku, the southern part of Benin Republic, close to Iwuye-Ketu in Ogun State.

Before its discovery, the village was dreaded and regarded as a place of no return.

It is on record that every attempt to reach the village failed as sojourners never came back alive after visiting the place.

It was believed that a supernatural being existed in the place that kills anyone who visits.

But, the once dreaded place, is now attracting visitors from different parts of the globe.

Among the mysteries of the place is a tunnel with two entrances.

The first entrance looks like a palace with aesthetic beautification of imagery on its walls, shrine and other palace furniture.

The other entrance is said to be an escape route whenever there is an attack on the village.

The entrance leads to 12 other exit points located in different places in the village. There is also the Olorunmila Compound located within what was regarded as the palace of the king.

The other Apotoku wonder is the memorial of the repatriation of the souls of deported and enslaved African ancestors.

The site boasts a sepulchre of some sort; a white-painted cylindrical protrusion from the soil represents a mega-grave for the returned souls of people taken out as slaves.

Although their remains had earlier been buried elsewhere, Olofindji had sent out people to collect sand from 228 countries; and, these sands, which symbolize the remains of those departed ones, were reinterred at Apotoku.

First Hand Account

Narrating how, he came about the discovery of the village, Olofindji, who is also the President of World Pan African Congress and Vizier of the Culture Institute, said he had a vision in his dream to explore and rewrite the history of Africa through Pan-Africa renaissance.

He noted that all effort to fulfil his vision were unsuccessful until his kinsmen agreed to support him by giving him a piece of land in his hometown.

That land incidentally happened to be the place where everyone dreaded.

He said because of his passion to fulfil his vision, he decided to sojourn in the place with the use of a tractor.

His decision to take the risk eventually paid off with the unravelling of what is today known as 'Igbale Aye'.

Olofindji said he was shocked by what he saw with the discovery of various structures and artefacts.

'Igbale Aye' has been transformed to the headquarters of Humanity (the city of African excellence and renaissance).

According to Olofindji, the project is all about the wellbeing of Africa.
"We are interested in the well-being of African people. Africa used to be at the head of civilization, but now, we are at the bottom.

"Black people now cannot be compared with the white men. Even here in Africa, we don’t consider ourselves.

"You will discover that when the Blackman produces yam, he gives the best to the Whiteman. We believe that whites are better.

"Everybody in Africa – from Benin to Nigeria, Togo to South Africa- wants to go to America or Europe, why is it that the people of these continents don’t want to come to Africa?”

He said with the renaissance project, “we want to change that. We want that by the grace of God, in a few years’ time, everybody would be running to Africa.

"We want in a few years, African people would be proud of their heritage", he added.

However, it is doubtful that the 450,000 years ascribed to the yet unexplored underground village, has been scientifically authenticated.

Nonetheless, Olofindjigave some assurance that scholars are at work on this project.

The project has already been adopted by the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding because of its historic significance.

In the last seven years, notable personalities such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Prof Wole Soyinka, Late Ambassador Segun Olusola, Govs Ibikunle Amosun and Rauf Aregbesola of Ogun and Osun States, among others have visited the place.

They were all inducted as members and had a tree planted and named after them as a means of immortalizing them.

Did I hear you ask what about statues; did they get statues?