Reconciling Traditional Indigenous Governance with Contemporary Approaches to Decision Making in Ogoni Communities in Rivers State, Nigeria

  •  Nwamaka Okeke-Ogbuafor    
  •  Tim Gray    
  •  Selina Stead    


This paper explores the perceptions of Ogoni people about their system of inherited leadership in Ogoniland, It focuses on whether the Ogoni people believe that their traditional system of inherited leadership has ameliorated or exacerbated the adverse impact of oil capitalism and political interference on their communities. Fieldwork was carried out in eight communities in Ogoniland in early 2014 when 69 key informant interviews were conducted as well as three focus group discussions. The conclusion reached by the paper is that many Ogoni people believe that the system of inherited leadership has let them down in the face of external threats, and that it is time to reform that system by incorporating into it some contemporary western principles of good governance.

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