A Counterfactual Insight of Africa’s Historical Past: The Case of Ughievwen Social and Political Institutions of Western Delta, Nigeria, c.1800-1939

Felix Ejukonemu Oghi

Abstract


The paper opines that the underdevelopment of the communities of Contemporary Africa is due mainly to the crisis of governance and poor leadership. Drawing from the case of Ughievwen Social and Political institutions in the pre-colonial times using the methodology of counterfactual approach, the paper explores the importance of history in charting a new direction for the continent. The discussion is in six parts. The first section introduces the discussion by showing the gap between the potentials and the in-roads of the continent since the end of colonialism. The second part examines briefly the geographical and historical background of Ughievwen while the third section examines pre-colonial Ughievwen social and political institutions up to the first half of the twentieth century to show the insights that could be drawn from it with regards to policy-making. The fourth section examines the evolution from kinship to kingship political system in Ughievwen land to demonstrate the internal dynamics of pre-colonial societies. The fifth part discusses aspects of the colonial policies of the British and how it influenced the course of Africa’s history. The concluding section of this paper challenges African historians to re-focus their attention on how to make history relevant in proffering solutions to African developmental challenges.

 


Keywords


Counterfactuals, Ughievwen, Institutions, Western Delta, Nigeria.

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