Friday, August 23, 2013

The Story of Princess Inikpi :The Heroine of Igala Kingdom

Few days ago i took a trip to the ancient city of Idah in Kogi State, Were i visited a tourist center that has the statue of the Legendary Princess Inikpi. For some of us who have only heard about the name INIKPI, without knowing who she really is, here is the story for you;


There was war between the Bini kingdom and the Igala people. No house was safe. No markets were safe. Even the streams were women and children would fetch water from or have a bath were not safe. The Igala people’s streams were poisoned so that anyone that used the water on the day would die. Fear griped the Igala people for a long time. When the oracle was consulted, it said that their victory could not come unless the princess was buried alive to prevent the inevitable destruction that was hanging on the Igala kingdom during the war with the Binis.

Princess Inikpi was the beloved and only daughter of Attah of Igala then Ayegba Oma Idoko, who willingly gave herself to be buried alive. Her father, the Attah of Igala loved his daughter so much. When he was informed of the only solution to the problem by the oracle and some of the eunuchs in his palace, he wished there was an alternative.
For days, as history recalls, he could not eat or drink. The Princess noticed how downcast her father was and decided to ask him the reason behind his sadness. He wouldn’t tell her. Rather, he would sit her down and tell her folktales under the moonlight. On the seventh day of her asking her father why he was downcast, he decided to tell her as a matter of urgency as the war was making him powerless as a leader and as a human being from the land that was been under attack.

Princess Inikpi did not object. She did not fight. She went voluntarily on the day to the bank of River Niger , the place where she was to be buried alive. It was a sad resolution but the Igala people hailed her for indeed she was their heroine and a brave one at that. After the sacrifice as the Binis were advancing they saw the whole town in flames of fire and went back feeling that there was no need taking a war to a place already on fire. But it was the blood of Inikpi that deceived them.

It is now part of history because it happened. The recollection of the Igala people will not be complete without the very important role Princess Inikpi had to play. She was a very beautiful woman. She was from a royal family. She was their heroin with great attributes. The story of Princess Inikpi is a story of selfless sacrifice.

The Princess Inikpi 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.

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