Conflict and Conflict Resolution in Pre-Colonial Igbo Society of Nigeria

Francisca Akunna Ezenwoko, Joseph Inegbenebho Osagie


This paper examines conflict and conflict resolution among the Igbo of Nigeria in pre-colonial period. Conflicts have always been part of human societies. So long as there is interaction amongst individuals or societies, there are bound to be conflicts as a result of fact that interests among individuals and societies interest vary. In pre-colonial Igbo society, various types of conflicts manifested. These included inter-personal, intra-community and inter-community conflicts, some of which led to wars. However, there were various means by which these conflicts were resolved to the satisfaction of the warring parties.

Conflict resolution mechanism was an integral part of pre-colonial Igbo village democracy. The absence of a centralized system of government among the people in pre-colonial period did not mean that the people were in a state of anarchy. As in most pre-colonial African societies, there were bound to be conflicts amongst individuals and communities but there also existed traditional methods by which they were resolved to ensure that peace and order were achieved and maintained in the society.  It is however hopes that the lessons to be learn from the findings of this paper, if properly applied, would be of great benefit to those who are charged with the responsibilities of finding amicable resolutions to the various intra and inter ethnic as well as sectarian crises presently ravaging various parts of the Nigeria and African continent in general.

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