Bencollins O. Okwesili


The evolution and emergence of autonomous communities in Igboland is consistent with the socio-political organization of the Igbo society from the pre-colonial era. Where communities in Igboland have always existed independently of the other no matter how small such a community may be. These communities must necessarily have common tie, customs, tradition and identity. The stateless, acephalous and segmentary structure of the pre-colonial Igbo society did not go down well with the British colonizers. To this end, fashioning a local government system in Eastern Nigeria was one of the most nagging problems for British administration and unfortunately the colonizers never mastered it. A careful study of the Igbo worldview years after the independence of Nigeria led to the reversion to and the adaption of autonomous community structure which was how the Igbo societies were structured from the earliest time. The enactment also created alongside the chieftaincy institution. This study strives to know if the objects of autonomous community really suit the Igbo society. Again is the establishment of the autonomous community extant on the culture and tradition of the people or does it depend on the whims and caprices of the government in power. It shall also interrogate to know how autonomous the autonomous community is. The results show that the system is still at the preliminary stage of formation and therefore yet to take a finite nature. Hence, there is the atmosphere of confusion, arbitrariness and manipulation of the system by the government. 


Autonomous Community, Family, Kindred, Village, Kingship.

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