Journal of
Law and Conflict Resolution

  • Abbreviation: J. Law Conflict. Resolut
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9804
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLCR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 95

Full Length Research Paper

“Agba (elder) as arbitrator: A Yoruba socio political model for conflict resolution” - A review of Lawrence O. Bamikole

Fayemi, Ademola Kazeem
Department of Philosophy, Lagos State University, Badagry expressway, Ojo, P. M. B. 1087, Apapa, Lagos State, Nigeria. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 July 2009
  •  Published: 30 August 2009


The paper is a critical review of Lawrence O. Bamikole’s paper, “Agba (elder) as Arbitrator: A Yoruba Socio-political Model for Conflict Resolution”. It challenges the fundamental assumptions of Bamikole’s paper as well as its central arguments as false interpretations, incongruent with the Yoruba worldview. Contra Bamikole, the paper argues that the capacity of the agba (elder) to manage conflict shrewdly in traditional Yoruba society was a combined function of the elder’s personality, proverbial communicative prowess, as well as an understanding of the social principles of conflict management in Yoruba culture.   Beyond Bamikole’s narrow conception of agba (elder) as arbitrative agents, the paper holistically explores the concept of agba (elder) as a vital complementary institution for conflict management in contemporary Africa.


Key words: Conflict, arbitration, conflict management, agba (elder), peace