THE ROLE OF TRADITIONAL INSTITUTION IN NATION BUILDING
This project work was an insight into the roles and contributions of traditional institution to nation building. After independence, Nigeria leaders were faced with the challenge of ensuring an economically, politically, and socio-cultural strong united and invisible Nigeria. This task would not be left for the elected state leaders alone hence the need for the traditional rulers to play significant roles for accomplishment of this task. Interviews were conducted from the data collected and secondary documents consulted, it was revealed that traditional institutions have played an important part in Nigeria development. The population of the study was the entire traditional institutions in Nigeria with particular reference to traditional institution were now that we need them most.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
For a proper analysis and understanding of the cultural and historical basis of traditional institution, one has to accept to the fact that every society has its cultural heritage and value. Even in the developed world, modernization has not completely erased the cultural of the people in Nigeria, one of the cultural heritages in traditional institution. It is obvious that, there has been an evolution through the years on places of traditional institutions and the roles they are expected to play in our national development. The above notwithstanding, traditional institution in different peoples in the Nigeria colonial and post colonial Nigeria, the traditional ruler ships institution seems to be the most enduring pre-colonial institution that survived through forms of administration in modern Nigeria.
Traditional rulers or chieftaincy institutions in Nigeria have had a very chequered history. Before the advents of British colonial era, traditional institutions exercised political authority in their respective communities in varying degree as provided by their tradition and custom during the colonial era. The role of traditional institution changed radically they became prime face rulers of their institution or communities under district commissioner, in the present Nigeria, the relevance and importance of traditional institution have been fluctuating. It is against this backdrop that this work tends to analysis the salient roles performed by traditional institution in national development and also to bring to limelight the relevance or otherwise of traditional institution to nation building in the present day Nigeria with particular reference to Umudim in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo state.
BRIEF HISTORY OF UMUDIM
Umudim is made up of eleven (11) villages but now or presently six (6) villages are under one (1) autonomous and five (5) are now autonomous on their own namely, Umuduru Onyema, Umuduruejeme, Ndiokwu, Ihualaowerri, Dimaodu. The above mentioned components of Umudim as a town have persistent shown traditional cohesion in there existence against all odds. The Ezeship stool in Umudim is traditional rulers, the next village in the order of seniority takes over the Ezeship and it goes round.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
In any developing nation like Nigeria, the task of putting in places sustainable political, economic and social, cultural status. For development is not always the work of one and or a particular group of people. It involves the entire stakeholder governance of which traditional institution are inclusive. Traditional institution has prior to British institution in Nigeria been agents of development in their respective domains. They performed all functions needed for the nation building, following the institution into our political and economic system by the powers and relevance of these traditional institution dimished substantially. They were related to the background in the scheme of things and some were used in the exploitation and manipulation of the indigenous people. This is one reason why some scholars had argued for the scrapping of the traditional rulership in the east brought about cultural debasement of our culture. It was believed that fellowing the independence of Nigeria, the traditional institution would regain its prominence and contribute effectively in building of a new Nigeria, but this has not been as envisaged, as the fortune of these traditional institutions keeps on fluctuating from one regime to another. There is also a continued debuted between and among scholars on the importance and relevance or otherwise of traditional institution in Nigeria development. As a nation in the pipeline, the task of building a formidable Nigeria should not be the duty of modern institution of governance alone, there are roles which traditional institution could play in nation building.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to bring to limelight of the efforts made by traditional institution in ensuring strong and united Nigeria through some salient roles they performed in society the research will also identify and highlight some obstacles militating against the contribution of traditional institution of traditional rulership, is still relevant to Nigeria development.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the role traditional rulers played in nation building?
2. Do traditional rulers create any impact in nation building?
3. Is there any other way the traditional rulers can contribute toward the nation building.
4. Did the masses feel the impact made by traditional ruler in nation building?
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to bring to limelight of the efforts made by traditional institution in ensuring strong and united Nigeria through some salient roles they performed in the society. The research will also identify and highlight some obstacles militating against the contribution of traditional institution of traditional rulership, is still relevant to Nigeria development. The above issues among others are basic for the understanding of this research work.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
To show the relevance of traditional institution to the modern Nigeria society especially in this period of our democracy. The study will equally stress how traditional institution can effectively use their position to bring about social economic development. This project will be useful to scholars who engage in African studies since it will provide first hand information about the contributions of traditional institution in nation building with particular reference to Umudim in Ikeduru. It can also serve as a useful material for undergraduates and post graduates alike.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to state the impact made by the traditional institution in making sure that there is strong and united Nigeria through smart role they play in the society the research also identify some problem encounter by the traditional rulers in nation building. It also states weather the traditional institution relevant to the development of Nigeria.
1.8 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
Hi: Traditional institution has played a unifying role in nation building.
Ho: Traditional institution has not played any unifying roles in nation building.
Hi: People believe that religion is a cog to the wheel of politics in Nigeria.
Ho: People do not believe that religion is a cog to the wheel of politics in Nigeria.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
TRADITION: This the total of a people’s belief’s customs, values, ethnics, orientations, in the post which still exist in the present.
INSTITUTION: It is a relationship or behavioural pattern of importance of a community or society which has been in existence of a long time.
ADMINISTRATION: This is the management and directions of the affairs of government. It is the organization and direction of persons and resources to accomplish a desired end.
TRADITIONAL INSTITUTION AND NATION BUILDING: It is the application and use of a people beliefs customs, values which the people have come to accept as valid and positive in the running of the affairs of their society in order to ensure stability, growth and the accomplishment of desired goals.
GOVERNMENT: It is the formal institution and processes through which building decision are made for a society and agency or machinery through which the desired of the state are realized.