Yoruba and Igbo: Notably, Africa has been called a dark continent for reasons backed with allegations that the continent has no history and a dumping ground that really doesn’t allow for development. Now, to our own perspective major actions such as how many youths queue at the Airport with the hope of stepping on the American or European soil in hours time really backed up the general view about our continent.
But sincerely, the view about Africa is not justifiable because Africa itself was a centre of civilisation if one cares to knock on the door of history.
Picking the South-west of Africa as a case study, it is very important to note that African possibly would have gone vast in their own settings and views of civilisation if the Europeans haven’t penetrated our calm process and political activities.
Ancient Nigeria, as a case study was and is still dominated by vast numbers of ethnic groups which were mostly dominated by the Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo indigenes.
Without much political interference, these three ethnic groups had a firm way of governing their regions and protected them from external aggression, with the help of an organized army and economic setup.
Yoruba Pre-Colonial Administration:
The Yoruba race believed to be descendants of Oduduwa and are often referred to as ‘Oduduwa descendants’, they practised a centralised system of government which was headed by the Alaafin. The Alaafin is the King whose decrees is binding over his subjects.
Then there was the Oyomesi, this council were the one’s who often oversee the appointments of the Alaafin. The Oyomesi consist of seven paramount chiefs such as the Bashorun (the prime minister/chairman of the council). There were also the Abobaku who were the Otun Efa, Ona Efa and Osi Efa. The Oluwo, Are-Ona-Kakanfo (leader of Army) and others.
There was also the system of checks and balances between them which serves as a measure that gave each group the constitutional right to checkmate the excesses of another.
The Igbo Pre Colonial System:
The Igbo political system was a way different from the Yoruba setup. The Igbo had no central system. Meaning that each village or clan had their own leaders which were different from the others.
Many scholars called the system acephalous, meaning it had no specified leader. The only section where leadership was claimed was the family heads, the Council of elders or the Ofo title holders, and the lineage heads.
This way, every villager is entitled to a decision-making process which means they are not subjects to decisions made by Kings just like the Yoruba or the Hausas who had Kings and Emirs. This system is of high benefit as everyone was carried along with the system of running the rulership.