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PROJECT TOPIC:THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE OF AFIKPO IN THE PRE- COLONIAL AND COLONIAL PERIODS

  THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE OF AFIKPO IN THE PRE- COLONIAL AND COLONIAL PERIODS

                   CHAPTER ONE

        GENERAL INTRODUCTION

        1.0   Introduction

Afikpo village-Group is one of more than two hundred relative autonomous groups of Igbo-speaking peoples in southeastern Nigeria1. Being one of the autonomous groups, Afikpo has its major political structure or institutions which constitute the basis of this research. Political structure is the process of organizing, acquiring or exercising power within a group2. This power is organized to give representation to every segment. The system of government can be called republicanism or egalitarianism3. It is pertinent to note that the Igbo (including Afkpo) did not develop large political units as their neighbours did. But in a more or less liberal interpretation, the Igbo societies emerged through the process of one village begetting another4. These villages had similar political set up that is said to be traced to the original traditions of their beginnings5.

According to A.E. Afigbo, the archetype of the Igbo political community (including Afikpo) is the village-group which rests on the myth of the bloodline. Each category or level of Igbo political organization is conceived of as a grouping or aggregation of blood brothers. They are the Umunna or Umudi, and their origin are traced to a common ancestor6.Thus, the Igbo society (including Afikpo) is traditionally republican in both socio-political and economic arrangements. She enjoys a democratic similar to what happens in the Greek city state. In other words, decision making is a collective responsibility7.However, given that this study focuses on the Afikpo, and there is very little or no written work on the political structure of Afikpo, linkage shall be established to show relevance in the Afikpo political structure and their Igbo counterparts in the course of this study.

For the purpose of clarity, the study has been divided in five chapter.

Chapter one which is general introduction consists of the introduction of the study, scope, problem of the study, sources and methodology, area of study and literature review. Chapter two deals on the Afikpo political structure in the pre-colonial period, and the various age grades_ Isi Elia, Ekpuke Eto, Ekpuke Esaa, Onikara, and Horii. Chapter three discusses the Afikpo political structure in the  colonial period, and the institution of warrant chiefs. Chapter four discusses the impact of modernization on Afikpo political structure. Then chapter five summarizes and concludes the study.

THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE OF AFIKPO IN THE PRE- COLONIAL AND COLONIAL PERIODS

 

1.1  Purpose of the Study

My purpose of writing on this topic is not only to contribute to the search for an indigenous system of administration in Igboland (including Afikpo), but also to place the political history of Afikpo in its true perspective. It is hoped that the study will enlighten and educate Nigerian on the beauties of our indigenous system of administration even before the coming of the European. It is aimed at dispelling the growing negative perception of the Igbo (including Afikpo) as incapable of administering their societies in a highly organized democratic set up.It also aims at identifying not only the method which Afikpo people adopted to governing themselves, but also the method of administration or governance adopted by the colonial masters.It further reveals the impact of colonial rule on the political structure of Igboland with particular reference to Afikpo.

Lastly, it aspires to meet the requirements for the award of the bachelor’s degree in History and International Relations of the Ebonyi state university.

.2  Scope of Study

The study focuses on the political structure of Igboland with particular reference to Afikpo village group. Functions of the various age-grades in Afikpo shall be considered.A little journey shall be made outside the above mentioned area of reference especially in the area of literature review to show uniformity among different communities. According to A.E Afigbo, pre-colonial Igbo society can be seen to have enjoyed a striking uniformity8.The time scope of the study spans from the pre-colonial period to 1960. In particular, the study shall scrutinize the traditional Afikpo politics and the impact of colonialism on the political structure.

  1.3  Problem of the Study

The problem of writing a political history of this type is that of collecting a reliable data as most of them are prehistoric. Since the study covers the preliterate era of the people of Afikpo, it implies that oral tradition is much relied upon. Thus, the unreliability of oral data due to distortion and misinterpretation may bear on the study.Further problem of the study is financial constraint. This has made my trips very rigorous in the course of my research. Also there is lack of substantial data from Afikpo.Not only by establishing linkages, but also by reviewing the ready materials on the people and the societies. Various segments that constitute the Afikpo political structure shall be recognized.

THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE OF AFIKPO IN THE PRE- COLONIAL AS  COLONIAL PERIOD

 

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