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- Name: traditional_institutions_as_instruments_for_rural_developement
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This research work is an attempt to examine the prospects and part played by traditional rulers in community development in Awomama. The objectives of the study are targeted at finding out the community development projects carried out, and assessing the extent of traditional rulers involvement in community development. In the course of the research, four hundred questionnaires were administered based on cluster sampling techniques, where the districts were grouped into smaller unit covering the study area. In the end, the study discovered that traditional rulers in Awomama indeed participated in community development projects. The research came up with some recommendations, through which an effective development will be carried out in Awomama.
1.1 Background of the Study
The role of traditional institutions such as traditional rulers, Town
Unions or community association Age grades, the Umuada and women
Development groups in Nigeria with the particular reference Awomama,
Orlu East in Imo State. This institutions and agencies act as instrument
for coordinating various social-economic activities within such a society
and between it and other aims traditional institutions have been social
agents as well as mass mobilization facilitators in various communities in
Nigeria. Traditional rulers more often than not, negatively affects the
development effort of the people. Traditional institutions should be
working cooperatively and collaboratively, and not as cross purposes each
of the institutions should confine itself within its area of influence, so that
their effort towards the development of their area could be optionally
utilized. The traditional institution should be people centered and
development Oriented in their mission and vision.
Historical reflection often points to the immutable fact that before
the advent of Europeans in Nigeria. The various ethnic groups such as
Igbo people, Hausa people and Yoruba people had various strategies for
organizing the public affairs of their people as well as ensuring progress
and development in their respective areas. There were traditional
institutions through which public affairs of the people were organized. In
Igbo land the traditional institution are the Umuadas, the Age grades,
traditional rulers and Town Union.
In the pre-colonial era, among the Igbo people women were held
sacred and they participated in collective decisions making on certain
sensitive issues that touched on their interest. They do this through an
institutional group known as Otu Umuada members the Otu Umuada’s
were dynamic, powerful and were well respected by their communities
they were at times regarded by some guardians of the village traditions the
Umuada’s often intervened whenever the constitution of the village were
violated and they impose sanction on offenders.
The Age Grades
The age grades are a very important organ of social structure
especially in our traditional Nigerian communities. The formation and
membership of an age grade is much revered activity. It is a Universal
social institution that is highly appreciated by various communities. Over
the years age grades in different communities have distinguished
themselves in performing such roles that aim at enhancing the socio
economic life of the people. They help in such traditional functions as
maintenance of I am and order, settlement of disputes between warning
members. Constructions and maintenance of roads and markets, ensuring
the cleanliness of local streams and above all, protecting their
communities from external aggression.
The age grades system is very strong, non- resident community
members cannot avoid going home periodically to participate in the
activities of their age grades.
The word traditional rulers “entail the reign of a monarchy or a
titled ruler vested with that activity to rule over a people in their affairs of
life therefore traditional institutions are headed by traditional rulers and
these institutions are very vital in bringing development closer to the rural
people. Traditional have succeeded in boosting community development
through the provisions of bore holders, rural roads, formation of co
operative societies, setting up markets, constructions of culverts,
constructions of earth dams, mobilizing people for health programmes and
residing disputes within their domains. Traditional rulers are the major
people provided; they are answerable to a title ruler vested with the
authority of governing the affairs of the people.
The tempo reached its crescendo in Igbo land after the civil war when
almost all, public facilities such as markets town halls I maternity homes,
dispend same and schools were all damaged as a result of the war
because of their well known flair for providing amentias for themselves out
of communal funds, all these people started from the 1970 to rebuild their
schools, health facilities, markets etc. the town union because very
necessary for rural development because the people were neglected by the
government the town unions are to disseminate information about
government policies, mould public opinion, raise fund, expand and extend
the utilities, undertake and encourage group farming activities and also
help in the maintenance of law and order.
These are to signify how effective the traditional instructions work
for the development of the society.
1.2 Statement Of Research Problem
The traditional institutions in Awomama, Orlu East in Imo State,
knowing well of their role and expectations in their area of jurisdiction
most often deviate from these roles and expectation which brings about
change and usher the community into development. For example instead
of the traditional institutions to focus on the needs of the people such as
provisions of schools, good reads, pipe borne water etc they do not do it
rather deviate if from and think about themselves and their own agenda
which do not bring about development in Awomana.
1.3 Objectives Of The Study
The aim and objectives of this study include:
(a) To know the extent of the involvement of traditional rulers in the
(b) To suggest ways to improve and encourage traditional rulers in
(c) To fund out the constraints faced by traditional ruler in community
development project in Awomama, Orlu East Imo State.
1.4 Significance Of The Study
The study if the role of traditional institutions in community
development programmes is sociologically important because the society is
geared towards development, either socially, economically, publically or
The study is also significant because it will help to find solution to
the problems hindering traditional institutions from carrying out
commonly development programmes not only in Awomama but also
beyond. More so, it will help the government to assist traditional rulers in
community development programmes.
Theatrically, this research work may help members of the public to
have vast knowledge about the role of traditional rulers in embanking on
community development porogrammes, as well as, the problems they
encounter in Awomama. This may help them to be constructive in their
criticism, and may also help subsequent researcher’s top build on it and
improve on their work.
1.5. Research Questions
(1) How can this traditional; institution policy decisions to effectively
involve and empower the community to make development
(2) What type of community development programme have they been
able to execute?
(3) What is the nature and specific roles of traditional institutions in
the development of the community and how is it expressed
containing the Government organization and Non-Governmental
organization sectors of development?
(4) What are the mechanisms put in place to ensure that traditional
institutions are main streamed in the development of the
(1) Traditional rulers will be infective in carrying out community
development programme in Awomama.
(2) Traditional ruler can make a positive impact in community
development programme in Awomama.
1.7. Scope Of The Study
This work is limited to determining the role of traditional rulers in
community development porgrammes, on how they initiate, embank and
execute projects in Awamama, and make useful recommendations on how
traditional rulers should have executed community development
programme within 2013 to 2015.
The scope of this research is however limited to Awomama, Orlu
East local government in Imo state due to lack of funds and proximity of
1.8. Definition Of Terms
The conceptual and operational meaning of the terms listed below.
Operational meaning: Is regarded as continuous processes of positive
changes in the qualities and span life of the person or groups of persons.
It is an advancement of something, people and community. Thus
“Development” used in this content is more meaningfully when it has to
do with progressive in the quality and living standards of the people
pertaining to their aspirations and resources at their disposal.
Operational meaning: This refers to the part a person or thing plays in a
specific situation or operation in this study, it is related to the expected
functions that a ruler of a community plays or should play for the benefit
of the his subjects and community.
(3) Traditional Ruler:
Operational meaning: A control authority, the reign of a monarchy and
the accepted controller by the people over them in their affairs of life in
thus study, it means a collectively elected persons selected by the
community to pilot the affairs of his people in line with customs and
traditions of the community.
Operational meaning: A place in which an interacting group of people
living in the same territory. Town, village, suburb or neighbourhood. In
thus study, it means a tract or concern commonly shared by people,
children and youths in terms of social relations characterized by personal
intimacy, emotional ties and social cohesion.