Tiv People and the Provision of People-Oriented Security Services Before the Establishment of Chieftaincy Institution in Tiv, 1900 -1960

Justin .O. Aper


Admittedly, most societies in the world were ruled by kings or queens during the 19th and early 20th century probably because it was believed that “strong” or dictatorial kings or queens would provide better protection against external aggressors than a group of “weak” or democratic people. But few societies including Tiv people in the present day central Nigeria, were ruled by their elders for reasons that scholars are yet to satisfactorily   explain. In this paper, the writer explains that Tiv people preferred democratic administration with people-oriented security services to autocratic or dictatorial administration which over emphasizes security for state institution to the detriment of the common people. People –oriented security services denotes welfare package which the administration provides for the benefit of both the poor and the rich   in the society.  The writer has, however, observed that the British colonial administration compelled Tiv people to abandon the budding   democratic culture with associated people –oriented security services for the Tor-Tiv chieftaincy institution with its emphasis on the provision of security services for the British colonial state in 1946. The writer explains that the British colonial administration destroyed the evolving democratic culture among Tiv people and established chieftaincy institution in order to facilitate the exploitation of human and natural resources and integrate Tiv economy into the global capitalist system. The paper criticizes the tricks and methods employed by the British colonialists to force the chieftaincy institution on Tiv people with consequent destruction of the evolving humane or people oriented security services. The writer  suggested that the functionaries of the chieftaincy institution should provide people-oriented security services for Tiv people. The paper concludes that the provision of people-oriented security services will convince Tiv people and other Nigerians that the chieftaincy institution is not simply another exploitative colonial legacy left by the British to maintain socio-economic and political inequality as well as insecurity among Tiv people in the 21st century.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3178 ISSN (Online)2225-0964

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