Now, who is Princess Inikpi, whom history records as being buried alive and how? if she was indeed a princess, how could her father, the king permit such atrocity? Princess Inikpi's story is one emanating from an inevitable consequence of history and not an accident of history.The history of the Igala kingdom will surely not be complete without recollecting the very important role of princess Inikpi. she was a very beautiful woman, from the royal family, a heroine with great attributes, her story is that of selfless commitment and sacrifice to the course and survival of the Igala nation.
According to historical records, a war was imminent between the Bini kingdom and the Igalas. Nowhere was safe in Igala land anymore. The farmlands were already cordoned off by the enemies and the streams poisoned so that anyone that drank from them would die.The Igalas feared imminent death from starvation and lack of water. When oracle was consulted, it proclaimed that a reversal of their misfortune and victory in the war could only come when the princess, the only daughter of the king is buried alive.
Princess Inikpi was the only beloved daughter of Ayegbu Oma Idoko, the Atta of Igala kingdom. when he was informed of the only solution to forestall the destruction of his homeland by the Oracle through some eunuch in his palace, he was crushed and heartbroken and sheded tears.He earnestly wished there was an alternative. For days, he could not eat nor drink. The princess noticed how downcast her father was and asked to know the reason behind his sadness. Instead of opening up, he held off telling her the story for seven days, but on the eight, he relented and told her the words of the Oracle.
Princess Inikpi did not object, she did not fight. She went voluntarily on that day to the bank of River Niger, where she was buried alive. It was a sad resolution but the Igala people hailed her for her heroism. after the sacrifice, the story went on that as the Bini armies advanced to swoop, they saw the whole town in FLAMES and retreated feeling that there was no need taking war to a place already on fire; but it was the blood of Inikpi that deceived them.
Observance of the role the Princess played in averting disaster in Igala land still represents an important historical event in the life of the igala people. Today, so many people in Idah bear the name Inikpi in honor of the princess.
The sacrifice was a costly one, very expensive indeed, it however made peace reign again in Igala land.Till today, the late Princess Inikpi who was sacrificed so that the Igalas might live remains the unifying factor in Igala land.