The nature and forms of socio-political administration of West Niger Igbo communities before 1900
This paper shows that the absence of the large and expansive state system in the West Niger Igbo area does not mean that the communities did not evolve any organizational forms suitable to their needs. It also shows that the communities in fact developed methods of organising their social and political administration. The paper demonstrates more particularly that, the communities were intensely democratic, involving all sections of the populace both in decision making processes and in policy implementation. An essential aspect of the democratic involvement of all in the administration was the evolution of role definition and differentiation,, Significantly, it is demonstrated that as a mark of the fullness of their democratic practice, women featured prominently in the social and political lives of the communities. The paper is divided into seven parts, each part dealing with a specific aspect of socio-political administration.