Akpar Terver (PhD), Samson Aondowase Fada (PhD)


It has been observed that most conflicts in Africa are deeply rooted in her cultural endowment. This is mostly to be found in her cultural diversity. The near inevitability of conflict in Africa has become a constant reference point. Nigeria’s plural diversity is a notable potential source of latent and manifest causes and triggers of the conflicts. The real and fundamental issue has been the management of these conflicts. While various strategies and models have been canvassed for their resolution, very little effort has so far seen input from indigenous knowledge systems. The paper undertakes a close study of the age-grades system among the Tiv of Central Nigeria as a conflict resolution model. The objective is to document, explore and examine the values, structures and functions of key aspects of indigenous social systems that present a tangible study in the management of conflicts. The target is to refine a potential model of conflict resolution that is indigenous and relevant to the African social reality. The study employs survey methodology using    focus group discussions, key informants, (community leaders, family heads, chiefs, traditional healers, civil servants, politicians) semi-structured (community based age-grades, youth) interviews across gender generational samples. The data is collated and analyzed using simple percentages, ratios presented through pie-graphs, charts, tables, histographs techniques. Descriptive presentation is the preferred mode of analysis. It looks at the dynamics, function and efficacy of cultural values in the management of conflict in a specific African society and looks at the potential of adaptability on a limited scale. The conclusion of the paper is a distinct attempt at proffering a home-grown remedy for Arica’s plural conflicts in a dynamic new context. On a positive note, it also invites careful and studied recommendations for further study of what has proven to be a most intractable issue in African societies and beyond.


Age-grade system, Cultural platforms, Conflicts, Conflict Resolution, Tiv Society.

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