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A Contextual Analysis of Three Major Tribes’ Traditional Conflict Resolution Mechanisms in Pre-Literate Nigerian Society

Olowolafe, Oluwakemi Veronica1, Olawale Yinusa Olonade2*, Christiana Olufunke Adetunde2

1School of Postgraduate Studies, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria
2Department of Sociology, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria
*Corresponding e-mail: [email protected]
Mobile number: 07032467376

Vol 3(3), pp. 1-13, November, 2020

Copyright © 2020 Author(s) and Skies Educational.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0


This paper contextually analyzed three major tribes’ traditional conflict resolution mechanism in pre-literate Nigerian society. Conflict is very much part of human society and it is expected. Conflict resolution encompasses a range of processes gallantly aimed at alleviating or eliminating sources of conflict. Secondary sources of data with relevant literature were engaged and the Emile Durkheim theory of societal development was adopted as a theoretical framework. Findings show that in Yorubaland, conflict is seen as unavoidable, a positive development through which people understand each other better. While the main causes of conflict among the Igbos are basically land, chieftaincy tussle and matrimonial fallouts. Prior to kingship institution, the Igbo used non-centralized forms of government which have in attendance Elders and Council of Elders which serves as the highest and most important peacemaking
and conflict resolution mechanism. Hausa/Fulani pre-colonial administration is highly centralized and hierarchical in nature. The Emir, in terms of adjudication, is both the political and religious head because he ensures that the provisions of Sharia are adequately followed to the core in treating cases of individual or group conflicts. The Emir court was the highest and the final. Having perused all the conflict resolution mechanisms of the three major tribes in Nigeria, the following recommendations were made; there is a need to encourage traditional conflict mechanisms as it is accessible and economic for disputants. There should be peace education for all and sundry. Alternative dispute resolution and unofficial strategies should be subscribed to in an attempt to ameliorate and manage human’s conflicts (vigilante, militias, charms, prayers, communal solidarity, etc).

Keywords: Tribes, Traditional, Pre-illiterate, Conflict Resolution


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Copyright © 2020 Author(s) and Skies Educational.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0