There has been several version of the story of Princess Inikpi… Join me as we travel down to Igala land to know this interesting historic event.
Princess Inikpi was the only beloved daughter of Ayegbu Oma Idoko, the then Attah of Igala kingdom, Kogi, Nigeria. The Igala people call her Inikpioma’fedobaba, meaning”Inikpi, the father’s beloved.” She was a very beautiful woman. There was war between the Bini Kingdom and the Igala Kingdom. Farmlands, markets and things were no more safe. The Igala stream was poisoned so that anyone that used the water on the day would die. Fear gripped the Igala people for a long time.
The Oracle was consulted. The condition given for victory to be restored was for The Princess to be buried alive – The King’s most beloved child. This alone would prevent the inevitable destruction that was hanging on the Igala Kingdom. For days as history recalls, her father, the Attah of Igala could not eat or drink. The princess noticed how troubled her father was and decided to know the reason. Instead of opening up, he held off telling her the reason for seven days, but on the eighth, he relented and told her the words of the Oracle. The princess, who loved her father and her people as much as they loved her, could not bear the thought of holding off on the solution that would save Igala land.
She went voluntarily on the day to the bank of River Niger, the place where she was to be buried alive where she was buried along with 10 virgins who would help her in the journey to the afterlife. When the enemies approached Igala Kingdom, they saw a town in flames of fire and went back feeling the land was already on fire. However, it was the blood of Inikpi that made them see something else. The Pincess Inikpi’s statue located at Ega in the heart of the Idah market in Kogi state still represents an important historic event in the life of the Igala people. Many Igala people bear the name “Inikpi” to honour her.
Did Princess Inikpi’s selfless sacrifice pay in the long run.
By Nwankwo, Grace Chinasa