A Critical Review of the Evolution of Kingship System among the Igbo of Nigeria

Abstract

In this paper, we look at the evolution of the kingship system among the Igbo people of Nigeria. From a republican form of administration where the Council of Elders played pivotal roles in determining the political governance of the people, the Igbo are made to adopt a kingship system that confers political authority on a single individual. Aside of the initial hiccups that arose while introducing the system there is a further problem of how to institutionalize the kingship system in a largely republican character of Igbo society. Here, we take a cursory look at the evolution of the kingship system in Igboland and the criteria set out by successive administrations for selecting and recognizing the Igbo king. We then compare the Igbo king with his counterparts in other parts of Nigeria, in particular, the Hausa/Fulani and the Yoruba kings. We conclude that even in trying to meet with the ideal, the Igbo king still mirrors the republican character of traditional Igbo society

Keywords: Chieftaincy, Kingship, Republicanism, Traditional Ruler., Warrant Chief


Article Review Status: Published

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