NEW INSIGHTS INTO KINGSHIP IN IGBOLAND
For many years, owing to the scarce attention given to Igbo studies, the predominant narrative is that of a people without kings. This paper seeks a reinterpretation of that idea, with a counter narrative, that in pre-colonial Igboland, kings had existed in some communities, exercised imperial control and jurisdiction side by side with other societies with acephalous leadership. The paper contends that the seamless transition to a full blown institutionalisation of monarchical administration in almost all communities in Igboland is in part, a confirmation of the existence of Chiefs in previous epochs before the arrival of colonialism. The paper argues that in the case of the Igbo, the title of Eze is not arbitrary, and tyrannical or despotic, but one that grew out of the egalitarian and republican orientation of the Igbo people.