TIV PRINCIPLE OF POWER-SHARING, YA NA ANGBIAN, IN TIV SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

TIV PRINCIPLE OF POWER-SHARING, YA NA ANGBIAN, IN TIV SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

ABSTRACT

The Tiv concept of power-sharing, ya na angbian, is a socio-political philosophy that the Tiv have been practising since the pre-colonial era. However, little effort has been made to explore the philosophical element of thisphilosophy. In this exposè, the researcher traces the roots of ya na angbian from the ethico-metaphysical perspective, narrowing it to the Tiv cosmology and ontological order, Tiv ethics and established the point of departure for the practice of the principle. The Tiv concept of justice has been treated elusively using the concept of power and Tiv notion of justice giving a background of justice as it relates to Tiv ontology. The Tiv concept of ya na angbian is treated in totality tracing its practise since pre-colonial time; angbian as a component in sharing and further the impact of colonial rule on the guiding philosophy taking cognizance of the establishment of the Tor Tiv institution; ya na angbian in the context of colonial electoral politics and in the post-colonial Tiv society. At this juncture, the need arose for the evaluation of ya na angbianphilosophy. This is done and the philosophy is applied in Nigerian politics, establishing its link with the federal character principle and zoning. It is on this plane that the researcher concludes: ya na angbian as an altruistic and cohesive philosophy transcends zoning and power-sharing to a realization of a holistic development, which can only be established if those produced by the duo of zoning and power rotation turnout as competent leaders. Also, that respect for elders who are custodians of Tiv culture has deluded with the adoption of western practices, which can be termed westernization of the Tiv society. The introduction of the centralized system rof government in Tiv nation has brought about a class society, constituting the ex-servicemen and educated as elite/ruling class while farmers, workers and unemployed now exist as the ruled. Another conclusion is that the introduction of centralized system of government and the creation of many traditional chieftaincy and political positions has expanded the circle of sharing from only the ya, compound in the pre-colonial time to cover the entire Tiv society. This has brought about a replacement of communal resources that were hitherto shared. This study offers critical recommendations that when a position is zoned to a sect or community and they are unable to produce a competent candidate, the position should be zoned out to another using the loan system to carryout the principle of ya na angbian. Most importantly, the federal character principle as contained in section 14(3) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria should be amended to lucidly capture the rotational and zoning philosophy of ya na angbian.There is ardent need for re-enactment of the lost traditional values like sacredness of human life, virginity and chastity, respect for elders, honesty, and promotion of common good and the spirit of brotherhood in Tiv society. Notwithstanding, the legal arm of government, judiciary should be used to ensure strict adherence to the practice just as elders with the help of the spirits were made the custodians of Tiv culture and tradition. The philosophy of altruism, stability, cohesion, peace, progress and development should be enshrined into the educational syllabus and taught pari pasu with human rights in institutions of learning. Political leaders at all levels should be guided by this philosophy to shun undemocratic spirit of looting, greed, corruption and nepotism.