The Relevance of Traditional Rulers in Contemporary Nigeria’s Governance
Prior to 1861 when Britain annexed Lagos, governance in what is known as Nigeria revolved around Traditional rulers. There is no doubt that traditional rulers in Nigeria have witnessed the erosion of their powers. This political scenario had elicited so many arguments among stakeholders and traditional rulers on their role and relevance in the emerging political arrangement. It is on this note that this research may be timely and necessary to re-examine the relevance of traditional rulers in the Local government administration with particular reference to the Ozoro Kingdom in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Traditional Institutions and their rulers have suffered extensively from the imposition of colonial rule, revolution, wars and post independence political development in Nigeria.
As earlier noted, before the advent of colonialism, traditional rulers were both the political, social, cultural and economic administrators of their various localities. They were parts of the immutable African culture which ensured harmony and stability in the society. However, the situation changed when colonial rule was imposed on African societies which Nigeria is an integral part. It was at this period that Traditional Rulers, were subordinated and became instrumental for the realization of the objectives of the indirect rule system.