International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 305


A Critical Review of the Evolution of Kingship System Among the Igbo of Nigeria

Dons Eze
  • Dons Eze
  • Enugu State Agency For Community and Social Development Project, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 16 March 2015
  •  Accepted: 04 August 2015
  •  Published: 31 January 2016


This paper studies the evolution of the kingship system among the Igbo people of Nigeria. From a republican form of administration where the Council of Elders played pivotal roles in determining the political governance of the people, the Igbo are made to adopt a kingship system that confers political authority on a single individual. Aside of the initial hiccups that arose while introducing the system, there is a further problem of how to institutionalize the kingship system in a largely republican character of Igbo society. Here, we take a cursory look at the evolution of the kingship system in Igboland and the criteria set out by successive administrations for selecting and recognizing the Igbo king. A comparison was made between the Igbo king with his counterparts in other parts of Nigeria, in particular, the Hausa/Fulani and the Yoruba kings. It is concluded that even in trying to meet with the ideal, the Igbo king still mirrors the republican character of traditional Igbo society.

Key words: Republicanism, Warrant Chief, Kingship, Chieftaincy, Traditional Ruler.