METAPHYSICS AND DEVELOPMENT- THE EXPERIENCE OF THE TIV PEOPLE OF NORTH-CENTRAL NIGERIA
Traditionally, Tiv society is stupendously moral. The degree of morality is supposed to be sustained in everything that the Tiv person does at any point in time. Any attempt at disturbing the equilibrium that exists in the world or nature is met with negative repercussions. This is based on the understanding that man is a composite of matter and spirit. It is the material aspect of the human being that makes him subject to the basic forces and laws of nature. In this wise, man lives within the natural space and time. What this means is that man is no longer fit to be considered solely as the master of the universe, rather he is the ‘steward’ of the world. This point of emphasis concerning the position of man in the world is very simple. Man is a rational creature that has the ability to reflect his rationality in every activity he performs in life. Reason creates ideas and ideas make the difference in a world that seeks to change and develop. It is with the aid of this reasoning ability that human beings become conscious of their actions and these actions are normally geared towards development for the purpose of achieving human happiness. The goal of life, which is the attainment of self-actualization is clear, but it is very difficult for an individual or a group of people to conceive a genuine theory of development that truly embraces all the following theories: a theory of man, a theory of mind, a theory of reality, a theory of society or state, and a theory of knowledge and to put them into practice. It is even more difficult to combine these different theories for the purpose of achieving sustainable development in general and particularly for the Tiv society. This study answers the following questions; what is the true nature of development and how is metaphysics related to development? What is the nature of the person as conceived by the Tiv people? How virile is the Tiv value system in meeting up with the challenges of development in the contemporary society? The main objective of this study is to examine the relevance of metaphysics to development with a view to applying it to the Tiv people of North Central Nigeria. The other specific objectives of this study include: (i) examine the level of underdevelopment in Tiv land, (ii) examine the extent to which political leaders in Tiv land have contributed to underdevelopment of the area through egocentrism, and (iii) show that an increase in the inculcation of metaphysical values like justice, transparency, accountability, equality, etc., in the art of governance will ensure political stability. The study adopted expository and evaluative methods of research. The expository method was used for their purpose of examining the Tiv metaphysics in totality and we adopted the evaluative method for the critical examination of the impact some of the selected metaphysical strands have on the process of development in Tiv society. The data for this research study were collated from bibliographical sources such as; e-books, journals, periodicals, textbooks, and Internet materials for the purpose of analysis. The impact of metaphysics on development is recognized in the worldview of the individuals and various philosophical systems of Tiv people. All aspects of human endeavour are needed to stimulate the process of development.