Migration Wars in the Traditional Igbo Society and the Challenges of National Security: The Abakaliki Experience, 1800-1920
Traditionally, state formation was characterized with wars of different magnitude. The nature, types and causes of the war differed from one state to another. The Igbo nation was one of those areas that witnessed migratory wars arising from state formation, land dispute, slave raiding and boundary crises. Considering the fact that the Igbo history of origin underpins diverse integrations and accounts, one can say that some Igbo sub-groups at different times, fought different wars with one another in search of national homeland. The outcome of these wars underscores the migration and settlement that predated the Igbo nation before the 18th century wars, particularly the Ezza that are scattered all over Nigeria. The continuous movement of these people and many other Igbo sub-groups has led to the intermittent wars that characterized Nigerian state. This manifested in boundary disputes between several Igbo groups with her neighbours such as Ikwo-Nsobo and Osopo of Cross River State, Izzi –Osopo and Yala of Cross River State and Mgbo-Igala of Benue State. Evidences of these wars translated into indigene/settlers’ question that tend to decimate Nigeria’s nation. Against this background therefore, this paper seeks to interrogate how war of migrations in the traditional Igbo societies have continued to challenge Nigeria’s national security. The position of this paper is that, war is a natural phenomenon that can still occur despite migration, but the inability of the National Boundary Adjustment Commission to embark on complete interstate boundary adjustment increases the volume of wars, thus, challenging the Nigeria’s national security. Hence, the paper concluded by arguing that wars that challenge Nigeria’s national security are man-made and could be avoided if the Nigerian state rises to take up her responsibilities.
Amiara Solomon Amiara,
Migration Wars in the Traditional Igbo Society and the Challenges of National Security: The Abakaliki Experience, 1800-1920, International and Public Affairs.
Vol. 3, No. 1,
2019, pp. 25-32.
Mgbada, C. O. Who are the Abakaliki People? A Study in the Origins Migrations and Settlement of Nigerian Peoples, in Mgbada, C. O. and Ugoh, C. U. NIssues in Nigerian Peoples and Culture Vol. one, PAQON (Press) Service, Enugu, 2004, p. 39.
Onuoha, I. O. and Ani, K. J. The Ezza Origin, Migration and Conflict-Based Relations, inChukwu, D. O., Okoro, S. I., Uchendu, E. and Nkem-Onyekpe, J. G. (eds), Studies in Igbo History, NOLIX Educational Publication Nigeria LTD, Enugu, 2016, p. 126.
Isichei, E. Igbo Worlds: An Anthology Oral Histories and Historical Descriptions, Macimilan Education Limited, London, 1997, 121.
Steensel, N. V. The Izhi, their History and Customs, Abakaliki Literacy and Translation Committee, Abakaliki, 2009, p. 6.
Amiara, S. Conflict of Origin, Myths and Realities: Ikwo Experience, in Nwokike, I. K. and Okonkwo, U. U. (ed), Aspects of Ebonyi History, Culture and Development, Gregory University Press, Uturu, 2017, pp. 41-2.
Ugoh, C. Polytheism: The Gods of Abakaliki, A Historio-Religious Link, Progeny International, Enugu, 2003, p. 20.
Ugoh, C. U. N. The Contributions of Bishop Thomas McGattrick in Ogoja and Abakaliki, University of Lagos Press, Lagos, 1991, p. 21.
Nkala, N. In Anambra Today, The Abakaliki Man. Top Qualty Press, 1986.
Amiara, B. inAmiara, A. S. Conflict of Origin, Myths and Realities: Ikwo Experience, p. 40.
Chapman, G. B. G. A Supplementary Intelligent Report on Ikwo Clan of Abakaliki Division of Ogoja Province, NAE, 1930, P. 7.
Nweke, O. O, A Short History of Ikwo People, Charity Printing, Abakaliki, 1973, p.4.
AAfigbo, Igbo Genesis, in Folola, T. (ed) Igbo History and Society: The Essays of AdieleAfigbo, African World Press, Asmara, 2005, p. 151.
See Harris R. in Afigbo, A. The Age of Innocence: The Igbo and their Neighbours in Pre-colonial Times, 2005, pp, 290-1.
Afigbo, A, Igbo Interest in Nigeria: The Prelude, 2005, p. 471.
Onwe, J. C67, Public Servant, Office, Permanent Servant, 15/7/2018.
See National Security on http://en.m.wikipedia.org/8/5/2018.
Lippmann, W. US Political Commentator, New York City, 1943.
Harold, B. Secretary, United States Department of Defense, Virginia, 1977-1981.
Afigbo, A. E. Afigbo, The Abolition of the Slave Trade in Southeastern Nigeria 1885-1950, University of Rochester Press, Rochester, 2006, pp. 96-97.
Afoke, J. N. The Cross River and North-Eastern Igbo:Ezza in an Age of Expansion, in E. Isichei, Igbo Worlds: An Anthology of Oral Histories and Historical Descriptions, Macmillan, London, 1977, p. 121.
Okonkwo, U. U. and Mbam, N. M. He was not given a fair hearing: Chief Nwiboko Ogbodo of Colonial Abakaliki, 1893-1959, Madonna University Press, Enugu, 2016, p. 35.
Allen, J. C. C. The Izhi Intelligence Report, AIDIST 6/2/278, NAE.
See Anozi, F. N. Personal Discussion with Anyawnu, U. C. An Archaeological Excavation in the area.
Shagaya, J. N. Quoted in Eke, A. O. Strategic Studies: A Logical Focus in the 21st Century, Willy Rose and Appleseed Publishing Coy, Abakaliki, 2000, p. 215.
Ogbeche, D. Benue/ Ebonyi Boundary Dispute: One Beheaded, Another Kidnapped in Brutal Attack, in dailypost.ng, 2016.
Nwafor, P. Ebonyi/ C-River Clash: Ebonyi State Accuses C-River of frustrating Peace Move, Vanguard Newspaper, August, 2017.
See National Boundary Commission (Establishment) Act, Part 1, 1990, in http://www.thetidenewsonline.com>2013/04/26.