Reconsidering Place of Traditional Institutions under the Nigerian Constitution: A Comparative Analysis

Iyeh Peter


The advent of colonialism witnessed the usurpation of powers of traditional rulers by the invading forces of Western Europe in Nigeria and many African countries. During the pre-colonial era, traditional rulers occupied crucial positions of authority in Nigeria and many African Kingdoms. They were highly revered and believed to be representatives of the gods on earth. In Nigeria, Traditional rulers were the political and spiritual heads of the various kingdoms. The pre existing traditional political structure in some parts of Nigeria, no doubt, facilitated the implementation of indirect rule system by the British colonial masters. Since the attainment of Nigeria’s independence in 1960, traditional rulers hardly feature in the political scene. Successive post independence regimes have made tremendous moves to reincorporate the roles of institution in the constitution without actualizing it. This paper shall critically x-ray the place of traditional institution under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The paper shall equally delve into the contemporary trend in some other jurisdictions.

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