According to oral tradition, Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko offered his most beloved daughter, Inikpi to ensure that the Igalas win a war of liberation from the Jukuns & Bini’s dominance .
WHAT A SACRIFICE:
It happened in the year 1515/1516. The story is told of the Attah (Father) of the Igala Kingdom, Ayegba Oma Idoko who was at logger heads with his bossom friend the Oba of Benin. War was declared and preparations for battle ensued. Upon consultation with the oracle by the Attah
Igala, imminent defeat of the Igala Kingdom in colossal proportions was waiting. But there was a catch: only one sacrifice would
change this future.
The oracle has declared.
At the time, the Igala people were subjects of the Jukuns and as such paid them yearly & huge tributes. The overzealousness &
greed with the increasingly difficult demands of the Jukuns got to the neck of the Igalas. They had no option than to stage a revolt for liberation from Jukun dominance. At the end of the year when the Igalas were suppose to send the yearly tributes to the Jukuns, instead they Packaged faeces (shit) & sent to the Jukuns and this of course spelt war.
The ultimate sacrifice – Inkpi Oma Ufedo Baba
History has it that she was as beautiful as she was intelligent; a Princess who occupied herself with more than matters of physical beauty; she had a keen interest in the domestic science of her time. She was the first of her father & Her father, the Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko loved her deeply and ensured it was known by all who cared.
Inikpi Oma Ufedo Baba (Beloved child of the father) returned her father’s love with the utmost devotion and respect for all he was and stood for. So we can understand her sorrow when she observed how downcast & heavy laden her father had suddenly become. She sought to alleviate her father’s pain. Surely it was the pressure from the burden of managing the Igala kingdom and the impending war against their enemies, which ofcourse the Igala would be defeated except something is done.
Inikpi was constantly with her father after noticing her father was depressed. She kept asking to know what the problem was. She was prepared to do anything for the love her father had showed her. However, it was from her father’s lips she first learned of the truth after several days of incessant inquest: “Defeat was unavoidable for the Igala Kingdom unless she was sacrificed”. And if she assumed -that meant she being killed and her corpse burnt on an altar, she was very wrong. Hers’ was to be a slower & painful death through asphyxiation (suffocation) as the oracle had demanded she must be buried alive. But the Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko would not let this happen to his beloveth princess Inikpi. Over his dead body would anyone as much as lay a finger on Inikpi!
However Inikpi stunned her father when she agreed to the sacrifice. “If my death would bring victory and peace to the Igala Kingdom and you my father, then so be. Let the ancestors have their wish” – she would be the ultimate sacrifice.
It was a reluctant father, after weighing the options, the Attah let his Princess depart for the bank of the River Niger at Idah where she was to be buried alive – she was.
When it was time for the war, as the enemies approached (be it the Binis or the Jukuns), they sighted Idah town like a flame of fiery furnace. Inikpi’s sacrificial blood had created the illusion of fire everywhere. The battle was won & Igalas got liberation from the Binis & Jukuns through the ultimate sacrifice of Inikpi Oma Ufedo baba.
While greater portions of Igala men & women are so preoccupied with Jesus & Muhammad due to our chosen religions, we have neglected this humongous historical Sacrifice by Princess Inikpi.
Believe you me, if the Inikpi story had happened in the Uk or any of those countries that brought us Christianity or Islam , they will be yearly Remembrance Day & laying of wreath & flowers at her grave site.