BRITISH CONQUEST AND ADMINISTRATION OF NGWALAND, 1892-1960
Colonial rule in Africa is one of the experiences in African history that cannot be easily forgotten with the passage of time. It was an experience which began with the scramble for, partitioning and eventual conquest of African societies. The study of colonial interactions in Africa has received commendable attention from scholars over the years. Nigeria is one of the colonized countries that felt the pangs of colonial rule for over half a century. This study deals with the British conquest and administration of Ngwaland from 1892-1960. The coming of the British and its impact is still a factor to reckon with in the history of any given group not only in Igboland, but in Africa as a whole. Consequently, much has been written about the colonial period although in some cases, information about the African side of the story is incomplete. This work is a contribution to the African side of the story with the Ngwa of Southeastern Nigeria as a case study. By adopting the qualitative research methodology, the work arrives at a holistic narrative on the British presence in Ngwaland. Information on this narrative relied largely on oral interviews, government gazettes, archival materials and relevant secondary materials. Attempts have been made to adequately interpret, analyze data obtained and present results thematically and chronologically. The study adopts an interdisciplinary approach using tools from geography, archaeology and sociology. The aim is to reconstruct the colonial history of Ngwaland as well as examine its conquest and administration by the British and determine the extent they were willing to go in order to fully exploit the potential gains in the land and beyond. The work will also examine the degree and pattern of response adopted by the Ngwa to the challenge of an alien rule. There is no doubt that this work provides a safety pad on which to assess British impact on Ngwaland as well as further research into other salient aspects of the history of Ngwaland yet to be studied. It will also assist in understanding the process of social change and adaptation in the face of challenges. However, the author takes the responsibility of all the surviving imperfections in this work.