THE RELEVANCE OF TRADITIONAL INSTITUTION IN THE SECURITY MANAGEMENT AT THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL. (A CASE STUDY OF KOGI STATE)
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Despite the obvious differences between the formal government system and the traditional system of governance, there is the growing awareness that good governance at the local level can only be achieved when traditional rulers are incorporated into the formal system of governance. This study examines the predominant traditional authority systems in the kogi Traditional Area in Nigeria.
The study sets out to assess the relevance of traditional institution in the security management at the local government level. Data used for analysis was obtained through qualitative methods like interviews and focus group discussions. The sampling procedure was generally purposive for traditional authorities and assembly persons, while simple random sampling was employed for heads of households. The research design was partly descriptive, explorative and cross-sectional.
The study found that traditional authorities play several roles at the local level. These roles were identified as settling disputes and managing conflict, soliciting and initiating development projects as well as mobilizing people for development. The study also found out that traditional authorities are still relevant aim local governance. The study recommends the involvement of chiefs in the planning, implementation and execution of projects in their various communities as a way of integrating the chieftaincy institution into the formal governance system to enhance development.
1.1 Background to the study
Traditional authorities occupy an important place in African life, and historically, in the body politic of Nigeria . These authorities embody the preservation of culture, traditions, customs and values of the African people, while also representing the early forms of societal organisation and governance.
Although traditional authorities represent earlier forms of governance, they have also been found in contemporary democracies. The existence of traditional authorities in Nigeria societies predates colonial periods in the form of chiefs, queens, soothsayers, youth leaders and leaders of various age-sects. Even though colonialism found chiefs in particular to be opponents of reforms, they were used to execute the indirect policy in circumstances such as ensuring law and order
(Kendie, Enu-Kwesi and Guri, 2008).
The framers of the 1992 constitution of the Republic of Nigeria, knowing the importance of traditional authorities, enshrined the independence of the chieftaincy institution and its allied divisions (Ayee, 2006). The Chieftaincy Act of 2008, Act 759, which is in conformity with the 1992 constitution, makes provisions for chieftaincy processes and procedures to guide the institution. In Nigeria, the traditional authority system has been treated as being synonymous to chiefs and queens. However, in this study, the institution of traditional authorities is defined to include, in addition to umbrella chieftaincy entities, structures such as family/lineage/clan heads, Asafo/youth leaders, traditional priests and priestesses (Guri, 2006).
The Nigeria society has been characterized by fragmentation of various aspects of the social, economic, and political, including the society?s institutions of governance. Large segments of the population, particularly those in the rural areas, continue to adhere principally to traditional authorities. The post-colonial state, on the other hand, emulates Western institutions of governance, which are often at odds with traditional African cultural values and the Nigeria contemporary socio-economic realities. Fragmentation of the institutions of governance, along with economic and social fragmentation, has contributed to Nigeria crisis of state-building, governance, and development.
Despite the modest progress, the post-colonial State has been unable to establish rights-based political and economic systems of governance that would facilitate the consolidation of state-building and promotion of development (Dzorbgo, 1998). To a large extent, this deficiency has been due to the detachment of the state from the institutional and cultural values of its communities.
There is no universally acceptable approach for dealing with the accommodation of traditional authorities within established democracies because the manner in which traditional authorities have been studied in the literature has varied from country to country. The persistence of traditional authority as a parallel system of governance, which provides some level of refuge for the rural According to Kendie and Guri (2004), traditional authorities formed the leadership structures within the community, and their functional role ensured compliance with rules, norms and beliefs on the part of the populace. The advent of colonial rule introduced Western forms of governance that, with their Accompanying political and administrative structures, dominate at the national and regional levels in most African countries. Historically, the institution of traditional leadership has performed various governance functions, most especially, at the community level.
Traditional leadership emanates from customs, and generally carries out customary functions. However, it may complement the role of government in rural areas; therefore, there cannot be contestation of authority between the institutions of traditional leadership and the formal government institutions.
1.2 statement Problem
Chieftaincy as a traditional form of political authority in local government administration in Ghana predates colonial rule. The position that Nigeria traditional rulers occupy and play in local governance has been the subject of debate in recent years. Traditional rule represents the indigenous and authentic African form of governance, because it has been with the people throughout history.
The quest for authority between the chieftaincy institution and the political structures of modern governments has not only deprived traditional leadership of its authority but also set in motion a new society whose structures and norms of leadership continue to challenge the authority, status and functions of traditional political leadership.
The contest with the formal governmental system symbolized by the political authority of the central government and its representative structures in the regions and the districts pose the greatest challenge to the political authority of chieftaincy. Whereas the central government has usurped the political authority of chieftaincy and deprived it of its economic resources, it continues to demand from chiefs, roles and functions which chieftaincy in its present state cannot perform because it has neither the political authority nor the economic means (Akrong, 2006).
Not much work has been done concerning the relationship that exists between the traditional authorities and the state institutions in regarding decision-making on development matters since the inception of the New Local Government System in 1988 (Guri, 2006). Traditional authorities have been voicing their discontent at the way they have been neglected by the district assemblies and the state in decision making, especially, at the local level (Crook, 2005).
The diminishing authority and resources of chiefs caused by the activities of central government and its local agents and bodies have not made it possible for the chiefs to respond to the demands of the people. The demands on chiefs to play leadership roles in development by their people in spite of their diminishing authority and resources shows that the prestige and legitimacy of chiefs are deeply engrained in the consciousness of the people.
And for many ordinary Nigeria, Chiefs are their pre-eminent political leaders whom they will rationally turn for help and intervention in situations of need (Akrong, 2006).The increasing erosion of the role of traditional authorities by the state and the tensions that this has created between these two established Institutions presents a situation that this study seeks to examine.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The general objective of the study is to examine the role traditional authorities, particularly chiefs, play and can play in the governance process in the lokoja Traditional Area. The specific objectives of the study are to:
• Assess the roles and relevance of traditional institution in the security management at the local government level.
• Examine the nature of the relationship between traditional authorities and local government agencies.
• Assess how traditional authorities, particularly chiefs, could be integrated into the formal local government system.
• Make recommendations on how traditional authorities, particularly chieftaincy, can be integrated into the governance process.
1.4 Significance of the study
The purpose of the study is to examine the increasing erosion of the Importance of traditional institution in the security management at the local government level; Propose a defined role for chiefs in the decentralization process; and find out how Best traditional authorities can be positioned to contribute meaningfully to Improve governance and development in Nigeria.
The complaints of traditional authorities of neglect by the District Assemblies and state agencies in development and governance matters at all levels in all major forums set the Agenda for this study. At present, the Komenda Traditional Area has seen little development perhaps as a result of lack of understanding between the roles of traditional authorities, particularly the chiefs and the local government agencies.
This study will provide the in-depth information that would be useful to the local government and traditional authorities in their bid to bring the two institutions together to work towards the needed development of the area and other traditional areas. Komenda Traditional Area was selected because such a study has never been done in the traditional area even though similar studies have been conducted in other traditional areas within the municipality.
1.5 Scope and limitation of the study
The study focuses on assessing the duality of governance as pertains to the Traditional system and the formal local government system in the Komenda Traditional Area in kogi state. The duality certainly has its disadvantages such as confusion of who has the legitimate source of authority in the community. However, this study examines the extent that this duality helps in advancing the realization of the developmental objectives of the local inhabitants.
Limitations of the study
Limitations are the factors which affect the result of the study. There is hardly any research project without some limitation affecting it in one-way or the other. The limitations encountered during the course of this research are as follow:
I. Collection of Information: There were limitations in getting all the required information needed for the research as some of the information’s where not forth coming due to lack of co-operation and secrecy the part of the respondents.
II. Financial Limitation: There was also financial limitation, because to carry out a research of any kind you need money and being a student my finances are limited.
III. Time Constraints: The time required to get the research done is limited being an academic requirement to finish your studies and research takes a considerable amount of time e.g two years.
IV. Secrecy: The respondents being questioned were reluctant in giving relevant information needed for the research work. They see the questions being asked as trying to probe them.
I lliteracy: There was limitation of illiteracy on the part of some of the respondent. It is difficult for people who cannot read and write to appreciate the need to supply relevant research information.
1.6 Research questions
The following research questions informed the study
1 How relevant are traditional authorities to local governance?
2 What are the roles of traditional authorities/chiefs in attaining good governance and sustainable development?
3 What is the nature of the relationship between traditional authorities and local government agencies?
4 How can traditional authorities particularly chiefs be integrated into the formal local government process?
1.7 Definition of terms
Definition of some terms in this research will be given so as to give an explanation of the meaning of such terms in the context in which they are used. They include;
i. Leadership: – This is an act or process of exerting positive influence over other people so that they will strive willingly and enthusiastically towards the accomplishment of goals and objectives.
ii. Performance: – An act by which a given task is done or executed.
iii. Job: – An entity but complex inters – relations of tasks, roles, responsibility, interaction, incentives and rewards.
iv. Management: – This is defined as the process by which managers create, direct, maintain and operate a purposive organization through systematic, coordinated operative human efforts.
v. Organization: – This is a group of people in a defined territory and working together to achieve stated objective.
vi. Goal Path Theory: – An objective of object toward which a person strikes. A theory is a set of generalizations which can be used to describe observed events or predicts future events.
vii. Leadership Behaviour: – This can be described as the influence exerted by the leaders on their subordinates as regards their jobs and clarifications of what is expected of them. Its subordinate will be satisfied by the intrinsic demands of the unstructured task and be highly motivated by the extrinsic rewards associated with their employments.
viii. Motivation: – This is concerned with how behavior gets started is energized, is sustained, is directed and stopped.
ix. Local government: Local government is the collective term for local councils. You may also sometimes hear them referred to as local authorities. Local councils are made up of councilors (members) who are voted for by the public in local elections and paid council staff (officers) who deliver services. There are currently 411 councils in the UK.
x. Mayors: Councils will also have a mayor or chairman of the council to undertake ceremonial duties. However, a few councils have elected mayors who