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Access to hygienic water is becoming difficult by the day, especially in developing economies. The people of Uromi in the Esan or Ishan region of Nigeria find it challenging to access drinkable water even in the 21st century. The problem of water has been an issue in Uromi since the pre-colonial era. Before the imposition of British colonial rule in Nigeria, the Uromi people resulted to digging pits to trap running rain water as their main source of water, which of course was unhygienic. Colonial documents obtained from the National Archives Ibadan, Nigeria were analysed and the findings reveals the spirited efforts made by the colonial regime to provide accessible and hygienic water for the people of Uromi. However, the colonial attempt was not very successful because of the Uromi topography, but that attempt improved the quality of water available to the people.


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This study discusses the peculiar nature of political participation as well as the attendant violence that characterize it in post independent Nigeria. Central to discussion is identification of the various factors which influence electoral violence and the extent to which it has inhibited national cohesion and democratic values. The study concludes that, Nigeria should produce selfless and visionary leaders, educated masses as well as operating within the frame work of true federalism so as to make appreciable improvement on her development strides. The study therefore recommends discouragement of use of money and material gift during elections, reduction of remuneration of political office seekers, commensurate punishment for culprits’ as well as independence of the independent Electoral Commission should be truly granted.


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   The paper seeks to unveil the historical antecedent of the phenomenon of ethnic militancy in Nigeria premised on the high level of deprivation, marginalization, injustice, corruption and inequitable distribution of natural resources; especially among different levels of government and the political class which are deduced to be harbinger of youth restiveness and ethnic militia. The paper employs the use of historical methodology to depict the moribund consequences of the phenomenon to the nascent democracy, and presupposes that the 1999 constitution was fatally flawed. In the corollary, the paper posited that until a new constitution is drawn up by Nigerians through an all inclusive, process-led, open and transparent mechanism, the search for a panacea for an enduring democratic order and nation building remains a mirage.


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      Although widows constitute as much as 25 percent of the adult female population and widowers about 7.5 percent of the adult male population in many African societies, they have been topics of little interest to the researchers in the humanistic disciplines. The available literature on widowhood focuses almost entirely on cultural norms of widow remarriage and the adverse implication of widowhood practices. No emphasis is laid on how much the practices contribute to the survival and evolution of groups. Not much is known about the widowers and the changing roles of widowhood as modernity demands. It is in order to arrest these lapses that the paper employs the use of historical methodology to fathom out the realities of widowhood and its socio-economic implication in Esan land. The study starts by edifying the mode of inheritance as entrenched by the customs and tradition of the Esan people and interrogates the socio-economic positions of widows from 1981-2005 in order to allay the challenges of widows in the international rebirth milieu.        


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There is a dangerous vibration among most post-colonial Nigerians that the unity and corporate existence of the modern Nigerian state rest on the delicate political balance between the northern and southern parts of the country. The vibration is often heightened during national engagement especially national elections. The paper is therefore an attempt to remind modern Nigerians that before the British colonial intervention, pre-colonial Nigerian people had evolved a web of mutual understanding centered on socio-economic and political relationship and interdependence. The paper adopted historical approach by concentrating and emphasizing those historical areas of similarities and connectivity among pre-colonial Nigerian people. This approach brings to the fore the convergent rather than divergent elements capable of promoting peaceful co-existence among post-colonial Nigerians.


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The paper draws attention to the need to incorporate some aspects of African pre-colonial judicial practices in post-colonial administration of justice in Africa as that would aid in the mitigation of crisis and conflict through alternative dispute resolution mechanism. This is argued against the backdrop that laws are instruments meant to regulate the society for the purpose of engendering peaceful co-existence. In pre-colonial Africa, the administration of justice rested on the twin connected pillars of reverence for elders and fear of false oath swearing. Using the Uromi of Edo State, Nigeria as a case study, the paper argues that colonial legal tradition in Africa displaced the twin-pillar of pre-colonial justice system with the practice of over reliance on material evidence to determine the outcome of litigation. The paper concludes that the resultant effect is that postcolonial African judicial system is unable to bridge peace among disputants


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The paper seeks to unveil the historical antecedent of the phenomenon of
ethnic militancy in Nigeria premised on the high level of deprivation, marginalization,
injustice, corruption and inequitable distribution of natural resources; especially
among different levels of government and the political class which are deduced to be
harbinger of youth restiveness and ethnic militia. The paper employs the use of
historical methodology to depict the moribund consequences of the phenomenon to
the nascent democracy, and presupposes that the 1999 constitution was fatally flawed.
In the corollary, the paper posited that until a new constitution is drawn up by
Nigerians through an all inclusive, process-led, open and transparent mechanism, the
search for a panacea for an enduring democratic order and nation building remains a
mirage.


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Nigerian historiography is divided into three phases: the pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial periods. Whereas the pre-colonial history is dominated by the political and social activities of the Nigerian people, its pre-colonial political aspects mainly focused on the establishment and growth of communities. Many historians have argued that the pre-colonial establishment of the Uromi community was occasioned by the activities in the Benin kingdom. This paper re-assesses this age-long historical position that the Uromi community of Esanland and the whole of Esan were established by migrants from Benin kingdom. The paper also questioned the intellectual foundation for such popularly accepted account that has determined the nature of Edoid historiography. Though the paper agues that some Benin migrants settled in the Esan area of Nigeria and subsequently influenced Uromi sociopolitical structure, it is however not enough to conclude on that basis that the Esan area, where Uromi is located, is a total creation of Benin. The thesis of this paper therefore questions the widely accepted claim of a Benin hegemonic establishment of Uromi and concludes that such traditions of origin rest on unsubstantiated assumption.


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There seems to be a general rendition that colonial conquered African kings (Chief) accepted their new status and therefore collaborated with the colonial regime in the governance of African conquered states. Some sampled literature on African resistance and eventual workings of colonial administration gives such impression of a docile and incapable chieftaincy that served the colonial authorities without any visible form of protest and resistance. This impression may not be correct as there are evidences to suggest that the African chieftaincy was not as submissive to colonial rule as observed in the case of king Okojie of Uromi, Nigeria who was exiled from his community by the British colonial authorities between 1919 and 1931. The circumstances of Okojie’s deportation and continued colonial policies to keep him outside Uromi created two opposing forces; the centrifugal forces, which represent colonial collaborators while the centripetal forces where those who resisted colonial policies as they concerned the deported Okojie. The research adopted a content analysis approach of colonial archival documents, oral interview and other related literature to interrogate the nature of king Okojie’s resistance to colonial rule in Uromi. The findings reveal that though, Okojie’s circumstances of birth might have influenced his harsh style of governance in the colonial created Native Authority, a fact which was used as an excuse by the British colonial authorities to depose him, however, the actual rationale for his banishment from his land of birth was because of his continued resistance to colonial rule in form of civil disobedience. The discussion raises the need for scholars to research on the nature of responses of the African chieftaincy to their colonial status, and concludes that the deportation of king Okojie should be understood from the broader perspective of the fate of African kings (chiefs) that refused to accept the reality of their tamed authority and powers with the advent of colonial rule.


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The paper examined the interlocking relationship among democracy, development and insurgency in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. It interrogated the western orthodox
conception that democracy necessarily brings about development. It made use of
literary materials in its analysis after subjecting them to textual and contextual analysis. The paper posited that since 1999, Nigeria’s ruling elites have marginalized and impoverished the vast majority of Nigerians. It contended that the failure of the ruling elite accentuated insurgency and terrorism and concluded that the prophylactic is for the Nigerian people to remain the focus and ‘raison d’ etre’ of democracy and not pursuit of ‘self’ and ‘class’ interests. 


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Nigerian pre colonial historiography mainly addresses the evolution of states with emphasis on what Obayemi refers to as mega states. The pre colonial kingdom of Benin is regarded in Obayemi’s reckoning as a mega state out of which, other mini states emerged and one of such mini states is the Uromi community in the Esan region of Edo state (Obayemi 202). This present discourse observed that commentators hinged their commentaries on the pre colonial Benin’s extensive territorial coverage within the Benin axis to assume that a monolithic political structure existed, dating back to centuries. Relying on the interpretative historical approach to analyse available accounts and documents, this paper attempts to demonstrate that the Uromi community had developed a complex political structure before the imposition of Benin style monarchical system around the 15th century. The paper concludes that a holistic approach to the study of state creation in the Nigerian geographical space may unearth information that may contribute to understanding the various degrees of inter-group relations among the Nigerian people.


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The ancient town of Sagamu in the old Ijebu-Remo Province is a household name regarding the cultivation and production of kolanutscola nitida (gbanja), especially the white variety, in the whole of South-Western Nigeria. This species of kolanuts attracted some itinerant Hausa kolanuts merchants in large number from the north to the town between 1910 and 1970. This paper examines the impact of kolanuts trade on the socio-economic development of Sagamu. It sheds light on the origins of gbanja kola; types of the nuts involved in commercial transactions; and the volume of the trade in Sagamu. In the course of this study, primary and secondary sources, which have been critically assessed and evaluated were used without necessarily undermining the historicity of the subject-matter. The paper concluded with the lessons to be drawn from the trade by contemporary Sagamu society and Nigeria in general.


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The ability to respond intelligently to situations is a function of the quality and relevance of education acquired. The African continent is considered as underdeveloped in the international system because of its low level of socio-political and economic development. Why is the continent having this nature of challenges? Various factors may be accountable; however, there is the contention that the nature of colonial education and religion represent one of the gravest uncomplimentary variables to functional education in Africa. Using comparative historical analysis between pre colonial and colonial practices, the paper argues and supports the view that colonialism distorted the African pre colonial educational and religious system. The paper concludes that the African continent may continue to remain in this backward position of underdevelopment until there is an intelligent blend between indigenous and western values in order to re-create a functional system relevant to the African communities. 


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History plays a critical role in the political and socio-economic development of any country. In this connection, proper methods of teaching the subject constitute a crucial development discourse that cannot be overemphasized. Regrettably, the fortunes of History as a discipline nose-dived since the last two decades of the twentieth century to the opening decade of the twenty-first century because of the perceived conception of the sciences as the more crucial tools for national development. This paper examines the challenges of resuscitating interest in History in the twenty-first century and the role that new methods would play in reawakening such interest in the discipline. The paper adopted the historical method of collection and interpretation of data. The secondary data on which this work relied would be subjected to textual and contextual analysis. The discussion is in five parts. The first section introduces the work while the second section examines the gains of History in sharpening the intellectual skills of students. The third part discusses the dilemma of the Nigeria state and the neglect of History, while the fourth part examines the methods of teaching the discipline in Nigerian schools. The concluding section of this work draws attention to the need to adopt new methods of teaching the subject so as to make it relevant in proffering solution to Nigeria’s leadership and developmental challenges.


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It is universally acknowledged that death is inevitable. This explains why people who loss their beloved ones organize elaborate burial rites for the deceased in order not to render them as outcast in the land of the ‘Spirit’. This study investigated traditional burial rites among the Ughievwen, a subset of the Urhobo people of Western Niger Delta, Nigeria. The objective of this study is to demonstrate how traditional values united African Societies until the introduction of Christainity and its values. The study adopted the historical method of investigation. It relied on existing oral traditions of the people and few available literatures to attempt an analysis of traditional burial rites in Ughievwen land considering the difficulty of getting reliable data for the period covered by the study. It was found that adherence to Christian doctrines appears not to have prevented people from inheriting properties left by
deceased persons, yet, Christian adherents saw the indigenous rites as fetish. The study concludes that burial rites do not connote fetishness; rather, they are part of the culture which need to be sustained, so that the people’s culture does not go into extinction.


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The paper opines that the underdevelopment of the communities of Contemporary Africa is due mainly to the crisis of governance and poor leadership. Drawing from the case of Ughievwen Social and Political institutions in the pre-colonial times using the methodology of counterfactual approach, the paper explains the importance of history in charting a new direction for the continent. The discussion is six parts. The first section introduces the discussion by showing the gap between the potentials and the in-roads of the continent since the end of colonialism. The second part examines briefly the geographical and historical background of Ughievwen while the third section examines pre-colonial Ughievwen social and political institutions up to the first half of the twentieth century to show the insights that could be drawn from it with regards to policy-making. The fourth section examines the evolution from kinship to kingship political system in Ughievwen land to demonstrate the
internal dynamics of pre-colonial socities. The fifth part discusses aspects of the colonial policies of the British and how it influenced the course of Africa’s history. The concluding section of this paper challenges African historians to re-focus their attention on how to make history relevant in proffering solutions to African developmental challenges.


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As with other parts of Africa, British colonial administration stifled the indigenous
technological instincts of Nigerian peoples. Before the introduction of colonization to Africa, the people had their own ways of providing for their needs. The advent of colonialism disrupted this ingenuity. The colonial economy of most African states was structured to improve the economies of the colonizers. It is against this background that this paper seeks to show how the introduction of foreign drinks (spirits) dampened the indigenous technological instincts of the Ughievwen people and consequently led to the decline of indigenous gin production which came to be regarded as “illicit”. The paper concludes that because of the influence and exploitative interests of colonial administrative officers who were out to advance the development of their employer’s economy, indigenous technological instincts of the Ughievwen people nose-dived. Colonialism thus impacted in major ways on the lives of those whose lands were colonized. This may affect people’s lives, even in the near future.


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Whenever Africa is mentioned in the international arena, the name seems to conjure pity, poverty, diseases, corruption, conflicts, maladministration, abuse of human rights and other trappings of vices associated with underdevelopment. This thinking may have influenced Tony Blair’s (former British Prime Minister) comments that Africa is a “scar on the conscience of the world”. This paper therefore argues that the various degrees of developmental challenges confronting contemporary African states were created in the era of colonial administration of the continent. Using the concepts of fundamentalist structuralism to critically analyse the contemporary African developmental challenges, the paper concludes that Africa appears to lack the capacity to deconstruct the philosophical foundation on which colonial structures were erected, and without a radical overture, the African continent may remain in its crawling developmental posture even in the 21st century.


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