As expressed in the first edition of this article, the Primordial House System of Governance of Primaeval Niger Delta’s Bonny Kingdom (also known as Ancient Grand Bonny Kingdom or Grand Bonny Kingdom [Ibanise]), enhanced by natural law, serves as the bedrock of the civilization and good governance (GG) in the Kingdom. In Bonny Kingdom, the House System of Governance (also called the House System of Government or simply the House System) is a form of Public Sector Governance, which was originated, institutionalized and practised by the Founding Ancestors of the Kingdom. The initial period of this system of governance was the primaeval, primordial or aboriginal era of the Kingdom, which lasted from before about 1000 AD to about 1740 AD (namely a period of well over Seven Centuries). At the apex of the three levels or tiers of Bonny Kingdom’s Primordial House System of Public Sector Governance were three hierarchical categories of Paramount Natural Rulers. Simply put, these Paramount Natural Rulers were and still remain the Ikpangi-Sibidapu (Institutionalized Lineage Heads), Amadapu (Community/District Heads and helpmates to Kings/Monarchs [Amanyanapu]), and Amanyanabo (owner of the land/King). These hierarchical positions of paramount natural rulership, which have been in existence from time immemorial in Bonny Kingdom, are those of honour, traditional public service, trust, social responsibility and statesmanship. These positions were established, systematized and formally institutionalized by the Founding Ancestors of the Kingdom, towards the wellbeing of the people, Houses (House Communities) and entire Kingdom. This study employs socio-legal methodology to examine the House System of Bonny Kingdom and the role of natural law, namely proto-natural law, during the primordial era of the Kingdom, which era ended about One Hundred and Thirty Years before the establishment of Opobo Kingdom from its parent Bonny Kingdom, during the Bonny Kingdom Civil War of 1869/70. The study discusses the Premier Paramount Natural Rulers of Aboriginal Bonny Kingdom, and the identified Four Generations of Okoloama Ingie KiriFajie, meaning ‘Bonny Kingdom (Ibanise), as comprised of its Fourteen Lineages/Families/Houses’. From a historiographical background therefore, the study makes a case for GG, fair play, social justice and other harmonious ways of life in Bonny Kingdom, based on good, transparent, responsible and accountable stewardship of the Kingdom’s traditional rulers, towards the wellbeing of the people and sustainable development of the Kingdom, particularly in the realm of the apex traditional rulers, who are paramount administrators of the three levels of government of the Kingdom. These are namely the (i) organized, formally institutionalized and systematized Lineages (comprised of immediate blood relatives or closer family units), known as ‘Ikpangis’ (‘burusus’) of each Country House; (ii) wider extended family units, known as the Country Houses or Country House Communities; and (iii) the kingdom-wide (central level of) government. Besides, the study demonstrates how the aboriginal era of Bonny Kingdom underscores the Kingdom as a classic African primordial sovereign state and civilization, as well as the pride of Ancestral Ijaw nation, which contributed to the development and advancement of Primaeval Niger Delta region and beyond.
Citation: Bristol-Alagbariya E.T. (2023) Aboriginal Bonny Kingdom of Niger Delta in the Framework of the Kingdom’s Primordial House System of Governance and Natural Law towards Sustainable Development in the Kingdom, Global Journal of Political Science and Administration, Vol.11, No.1, pp.31-67
Keywords: Aboriginal Bonny Kingdom, Ancient Niger Delta Region, Bonny Kingdom’s Primordial House System of Public Sector Governance
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