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Otite, Kingsley John Onigu (1969) The political organisation of the Urhobos of the Midwestern State of Nigeria. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is a sociological analysis of continuity and change in the political organisation of Okpe, an Urhobo tribe, in the Midwestern State of Nigeria. The discussion is presented in nine chapters. The first introduces Okpe tribe by a brief account of its history, territory, kinship grouping, religion and economy. Chapter Two deals with Okpe political structure showing how power and authority are affected by the age organisation, personal efficiency, the chieftaincy institution and kinship. Recruitment to positions of power in these four fields is discussed. Against this background, Chapter Three deals with Okpe governmental processes at two levels; that of the town and that of the tribe as a whole prior to the establishment of effective British rule in about 1890. Chapters Four and Five are concerned with the impact of British rule on Okpe which, like other tribes, lost its political sovereignty in the process. Chapter Five also discusses some of the problems encountered in the revival of Okpe kingship in the 1940s. It further describes briefly some of the statutory changes and the constitutional development of Nigeria before independence in 1960. Chapter Six highlights some aspects of Okpe cultural behaviour which are currently manipulated in order to maintain tribal exclusiveness within the new state. Chapter Seven shows, on the other hand, that Okpe tribe is an integral part of the Midwestern State of Nigeria. This situation results in two types or arenas of politics: the politics of the tribe and that of the new state. In many cases, these two types of politics have opposite effects on the political organisation of the tribe. But the new state government and politics tend more and more to involve the tribal government and politics. Chapter Eight shows that recruitment to the top political positions in the tribe is now statutory and can be done only with the approval of the Government of the Midwestern State of Nigeria. The thesis is concluded in Chapter Nine by a brief discussion of its theoretical implications.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:28

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