CULTURE & TOURISM

THE LOVE OF YOUR OWN KINGDOM: STORIES OF PRINCESS INIKPI & JEPHTHAH’S DAUGHTER IN THE BIBLE

Jephthah was a soldier, greater hero and leader of the Israelites when they had a war against the Ammonites.According to the book Judges 1130Jephthah promised the lord “If you give me victory over Ammonites, 31 I will burn as an offering the first person that comes out of my house to meet me, when I come back from the victory. I will offer that person to you as a sacrifice”. 33 … There was great slaughter and the Ammonites were defeated by Israel.34 When Jephthah went back home to Mizpah, there was his daughter coming out to meet him, dancing, … She was his only child. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes in sorrow and said “Oh, my daughter! You are breaking my heart! Why must it be you that causes me pain? I have made a solemn promise to the lord; and I cannot take it back!” 36 She said to him ” If you have made a promise to the lord, do what you said you would do to me, since the lord has given revenge on your enemies, the Ammonites”. 39…He did what he had promised the lord, and she died still a virgin.Yes, this is closely related to the story of Princess Inikpi and his father, Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko. Attah Ayegba Oma Idoko was the Attah Igala (King of Igala Kingdom) when Igala had a war against the Binis. In order for Igala to win the war, the spirit of the Igala ancestors revealed to him that his beloved daughter, Princess Inikpi be sacrificed. With pains, and shocks, Inikpi noticed this on her father’s face, asked the father what the matter was, the father told her, and she told the father to do as they said in order to secure Igala kingdom and give Igala victory.And when the time had come, she was sacrificed (buried alive voluntarily). She was alive in the tomb until the 14th day before she died. Every morning, her father would go to the tomb and call her, and she would respond, Baba am still here. This happened until the 14th day when the dad didn’t get her response again. And we (Igala) won the war and remained unconquered and strong till today.In Igala culture, 14th day is a special number or day. Eg. Our new babies are named after 14 days of birth. Others are tomb leveling after death, expecting of results of important prayers (if not 7 days, it will be 14 days), Akwu-Eche, etc. God bless Igala kingdom, long live Attah Igala, long live United Igala Kingdom.
Credit: Amb Ayegba Abdullahi Aduojo.

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