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The Role Of Traditional Rulers In National Development (A Study Of Ohaji/Egbema L.G.A, Imo State)




The study is on “The Role of Traditional Rulers in National Development (A Study Of Ohaji/Egbema L.G.A, Imo State). The study has four objectives and four research questions.  The case study and the survey approaches research design was used for the study. The population of the people of Egbema is about ½ million people. It is from this population descriptions that the same population would be extracted for this study and the sample size was 40 (forty) people. The sampling technique adopted for this study is the simple random which gives every element in the sampling area equal independent chances of being in the sample. Questionnaire was used for collection of data while simple percentage and frequency counts table was used to analyze the research questions. The findings reveal that traditional institutions, even though outdated still play vital roles towards national development, the available laws negate the rights and principles of the traditional institutions, and sometimes make them look rubber stamps. The study therefore recommended among others that, in the context of governance of the modern state, an important issue is the extent to which the traditional authorities may be involved in local government today. Even though excluding traditional rulers from local government is consistent with theories of political development I down playing inscriptive rights, the implication is ominous since there are still wide areas in Africa where no development is possible unless it is routed through the traditional leaders and backed by them. It may be necessary to re-examine the position of traditional rulers no decentralization efforts and consider a meaningful role for them in local affairs.



1.1     Background of the Study

Nigeria is a state of Nation is currently in a stated of economic tradition as it attempt to follow in the established pattern of the  rest of the world in moving towards a democratic governing  body and a market economy for a country that is  rooted in ethnic tribes alliance and colonial distinctions, this is a serious endeavor. Creating institution within the country has been the prime factor in achieving the development. These institutions or rules of the game can take on the formal aspect of laws an tangible rules, or an informal nature, which  defines the culture and attitudes of the society. Institutions have played an inherent part in the privatization program eradication of corruption, removal of cultural prejudices and technological development of Nigeria.

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Formal institution includes laws and orders that are enacted by the government and it can still be altered by anyhow mandated programs and instituted laws , informal institutions are much harder to change since it require adjusting the culture of an entire group of principle. The call for national unity by the custodians of our heritage so as the develop the tribal sentiments should be a wakeup call for all Nigerians.

Since the1970’s the institution of chief family has gained much prominence in the social and political life of Nigeria. The growing importance of traditional rulers (sometime even called natural rulers) in everyday affairs, in local and national politics in Nigeria has then received comparatively little attention by social scientists, especially so far areas where no strong chieftaincy institutions existed in pre-colonial times.

In the Nigeria context chieftaincy institutions has played a big role in Nigeria, throughout Nigeria, there are numerous well-educated holder of chieftaincy titles with strong business interests, conversely, virtually every successful businessman attempts to acquire such titles. This practice being so common that titles  are nowadays widely perceived to be “purchased” rather than hereditary, or earned as a matter of honor/importance. Politicians accumulate several dozen titles, such honorary titles however, are of a secondary nature in so far they are usually conferred by officially holders of traditional: the traditional rulers.

Since the LATE 1970/90s, the chieftaincy institution in Egbema of Ohaji/Egbema has flourished remarkable by the late 1980s, one (1) and thirteen (13)  second class rulers but today  there were six (6) government recognized, there were rulers (kings) in Ohaji/Egbema LGA Uzomma [1993:216] carrying the titles Eze, etc. some officially addressed as “HIS  Royal Majesty (HRM) and His Royal Highness (HRH) in Ohaji Egbema LGA. Most of these traditional rulers, are not traditional and their positions has no direct pre-colonial pendent, if any, their office is based on a tradition created rather recently nor do they ‘rule’ in a formal sense. Nevertheless, Ebere Nwaubam (1994:96) in one of the very far long-range historical analysis of the institution, has put it in contemporary Igbo society, traditional ruler, have become permanent and influential guests on the centre stage.

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1.2     Statement of the Problem

The current opportunities for democratic participation and good governance in most African states seem unprecedented, yet there have been many failures. A significant part of this lies in the overlooked relationship between the contemporary African state and traditional authority. Traditional form as of chieftaincy have come back into the spotlight, especially with respect to the role of traditional rulers as an intermediary  between the state and the citizen or people, a role already created during colonization.

Although the most value or visible representatives of the original Africa public institutions were  abolished in some parts of the continent in vast areas of Western, Central, Southern and Eastern Africa, they continue  to exist and participate in public affairs on local regional and state levels, either separately or as  members of administration, parliaments or governments.

Even since that l and mel-administration fated attempt by the erstwhile British colonial administration. In Nigeria to impose on the people a uniform system of local administration, Nigerians have  continued in the endless search for role or function for traditional rles in the country.

Traditional rulers in Egbema in Ohaji/Egbema local government have no specific functions assigned to them this is because politicians have politicized or messed up the institution, traditional rulers who failed to openly declare these support for the political partly in power are either be dethroned or had their salaries reduced to peanut .

Apparently not satisfied with the position assigned to them by the 197 local government reform some of these traditional rulers have agitated for increased relevance of the affairs of their communities. They have however succeeded by traditional rulers council in each their various local government areas. But the powers or functions of their councils were merely advisory, which could be easily thrown away by those who set them up. To this end under-stated questions have been postulated to act as the guide to enquires, pursuant to this research study.

Do traditional rules of Ohaji/Egbema local government make any meaningful contribution to national development? Does the constitution of the country ascribe any roles for traditional rulers? Do Egbema in Ohaji/Egebma local government people still have need for the maintenance of traditional institutions?

1.3     The Objectives of the Study

  1. To examine the traditional political and administration roles of traditional rulers of Egebma in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area.
  2. To ascertain the area of conflicts among the traditional rulers themselves.
  3. To examine the implication of those conflicts to the development of Egbema in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area.
  4. To offer relevant suggestions for remedy which may lead to socio-political stability and overall development of Egbema in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area.
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1.4     Significance of the Study

  1. This study intents to examine the afore-mentioned objectives in Nigeria and Imo State in particular where conflicts between traditional institution and objects have greatly marred the national development.
  2. The findings would provide a new perspective to the handling of rural conflict amongst our rural populace and also improve peaceful co-existence in our communities, thereby making for further development and growth of Nigeria.
  3. It would also open up a new field in the study of conflict management and rural development in our society Nigeria.

1.5     Research Hypothesis

Going by the responsibilities, which this research study behaves on the research study behaves on the research shoulder, the under-mentioned hypothesis have been raised.

Ho1: There is no significant relationship between traditional ruler’s roles and national development.

H02: There is no significant relationship between the role of traditional rulers towards national development.

Ho3: That traditional institutions are indispensable in our society.

1.6     Limitations of the Study

The successful completion of this study was limited by the following;

  1. The unwillingness of the respondents to give out information based on the fact that there existed what strained relationship among various traditional rulers in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area.
  2. Distance between various communities in Egbema in Ohaji/Egbema local government area, the researcher strained himself beyond measure by using motor bikes to soon communities that not motorable.
  3. Difficult task of having access to highly placed traditional rulers to get and gather the need data and information.
  4. Time: This is another factor that limited the research study.

1.7     Definition of Concept/Terms

National Development: This is the state of nature growing, changing and development politically, economically, socio-culturall, technologically and medially etc.

Traditional Institution: This is a leader set up especially reserved for the maintenance of peace and order within a given geographic area or entity.

Pages:  71

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF        

Chapters: 1-5                                 

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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