In the 16th century during the time that Attah Ayegba was the ruler of the Igala kingdom , there was a brooding war between the Igala and Benin.
Who Is Princess Inikpi
PRINCESS INIKPI was the only daughter and mostly beloved child to Attah Ayegba Om’ Idoko of the Igala kingdom as at the time, She was called Inikpi omafedo baba by the people which means Inikpi sthe father’s beloved.
The Princess Inikpi’s story is one of heroism and bravery. The legend was dreadful but empowering.
Princess Inikpi was known to be a very intelligent, beautiful and kind hearted person.
The Igala And Benin War
A brooding war between the Igala people and the Benin kingdom had caused the Igala land to be no longer safe for the people. Their farmlands were taken over by this their known enemies and their sources of water were poisoned leaving it unhealthy and unsafe for the people to use.
There was fear among the Igala people that there would be serious death of their people due to starvation and lack of water as their sources of water have been poisoned.
The Attah however had to consult the Oracle of the kingdom. The Oracle revealed that in other to ensure safety and victory in the up coming war, the Attah had to bury his one and only beloved daughter alive, princess Inikpi.
At that time the king was in big confusion, he was indeed heartbroken and distraught to the extent that he didn’t eat or drink for days. He wouldn’t want to bury his beloved daughter and wished for an alternative solution but there was none.
Princess Inikpi Story
The princess on the other hand noticed how down the King was and she asked to know the reason he was like that. The king could not put himself to tell Inikpi what was wrong, he then held of telling her the reason for seven whole days and on the eighth day he finally revealed to the princess what the Oracle had said to him.
The princess, who was known to have loved her father and her kingdom as much as they loved her, could not sit and do nothing knowing she was the solution to their problems. She couldn’t hold off from the solution that would save her family and the whole Igala kingdom.
Thereafter, she agreed to be used as sacrifice and went voluntarily to the bank of the River Niger at Idah but some say it was at the market square, where she was ultimately buried alive with mine slaves who were believed were going to help her through the journey of the afterlife.
After the sacrifice was done, Legend has it that when the enemies approached the Igala kingdom for war, they saw that the town was on fire and so they turned back to leave assuming that the town was already under attack. It is believed that the town was not actually under attack but the enemies saw because of the influence of the sacrifice to save the Igala kingdom from their enemies. With this, there was no attack on the Igala people from the Benin people.
For this, the Igala people are forever deeply grateful to the princess for sacrificing herself to save them. It is indeed an act of heroism
She is highly remembered among the Igala people to have been a very beautiful and intelligent princess, whose selfless action, commitment to the people and sacrifice had helped to rescue and keep the survival of the Igala nation as a whole.
The princess had buried herself alive to ensure the safety of her people and today a statue of her stands in the market square at Idah which is known to be the traditional headquarters of the Igala nation. Also, many Igala people give the name Inikpi to their children to honor the brave and courageous princess and several plays have been made in celebration of the princess.
Princess Inikpi who was the daughter of Attah Ayegba Om’Idoko and queen Omelve had acted out of bravery and love for her people. Her act of bravery saved the Igala kingdom and till date the Igalas still exist.
Many people whether Igala or not know this story of selflessness and bravery.
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