UNDERSTANDING REPUBLICANISM IN IGBO PRE-COLONIAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE: THE VIEWPOINT TO IGBO ENWE EZE
Keywords:Community, Igbo, Republicanism, Leadership, Governance, Understanding, Cultural, Traditional
Models and styles of governance, especially in Igbo traditional setting, have long attracted scholastic attention largely so, due to the prime acephalousness of the Igbo traditional community. Many scholars have tried relentlessly to unravel the content of leadership adopted by the Igbo people following their culture that frowned at methuselean, authoritarian or wheel chair romanticism as a style of leadership although something ideological was possible for them in practice. The popular maxim â€œIgbo Enwe Ezeâ€ (the Igbo have no kings), gives an understanding that the Igbo community of the pre-colonial era practiced republican system of governance which guaranteed the natives a fair say in community affairs through its delegated power to the leaders of social institutions. This belief has raised many questions as it means to many that the Igbo people had no kings at all, hence, the reason for this study to establish why the Igbo traditional community is often described as such. This paper adopting the method of content analysis further focuses on how the republican system worked for the Igbo then and how they managed themselves in governance. Thirdly, it intends to establish the findings that kingship existed in Igbo land. It will therefore serve as a relevant document to the people of Igbo origin to clarify the controversies surrounding the pre-colonial Igbo community. On the issue of Igbo enwe Eze, the study finds out that the axiom was a mere misconception to tarnish the excess of the Igbo Nation as a result of the inability of the white men to create a centralized king for their imperialist interest. Again, on Igbo republicanism, the research finds out that the Igbo are democratic and communalistic and manage their affairs through their traditional institutions led by elders; they never subscribe to one-man-for-all.