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CONFLICTING CULTURE IN AKWA IBOM STATE: A CASE STUDY OF IBIBIO, ANNANG AND ORON
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
As the world become a global village the impact of conflicting culture cannot be over emphasize. Since the beginning of humanity even in the bible among Egyptian, Israelites and Philippians they experienced cultural conflict. To live without conflict is not to exist. Conflict is an indispensable component of society, especially when it consider the heterogeneous nature of society, as comprising of persons of different background, with multiplicity of viewpoints and attitudes to issues of life. The culture of conflict is universal and noticeable in every society, in so far as there are conflicting interests and divergent ideas in relation to the same issues. Conflict therefore is inevitable wherever incompatible activities occur Deutsch, 1978).
Cultural conflict is a type of conflict that occurs when different cultural values and belief clash. It has been used to explain violence and crime. (Johnathan, 2013) noted that cultural conflict is the conflict caused by difference in cultural values and belief that people at odd with one another on a macro level. He further stated that cultural conflict between guest of different cultural and nationality as seen in a British 1970 sitcom. As noted by Alexander (2005) as conflict that occurs when people expectations of a certain behaviour coming from their cultural background are not met, as other have different cultural backgrounds and different expectations. It is difficult to resolve as parties to the conflict have different belief. Cultural conflicts become intensify when those differences become reflected in politics particularly on a macro level. An example of cultural conflict is the debate over abortion, ethnic cleansing is another extreme example of cultural conflict, wars can also be a result of a cultural conflict; for example the different views on slavery were one of the reasons for the American Civil War.
Culture is the characteristic and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, belief, social habits, music and arts. The center for advance research on language acquisition goes a step further to defined culture as shared patterns of behaviours and interactions, cognitive construct and understanding that are learned by socialization. It is a way of life, way of thinking, behaving or working that exist in a place or organization. The beliefs, customs, arts of particular society, group of people, place or time, a particular society that has its own beliefs, way of life.
Akwa Ibom is one of Nigeria’s 36 states, with a population of over 5 million people and more than 4 million people in diaspora. It was created in 23 September 1987 from the former Cross River State and is currently the highest oil and gas-producing state in the country. The state’s capital is Uyo, with over 500,000 habitants. The major cities include Uyo, Eket, Ikot Ekpene, Oron, Abak, Ikot Abasi Ikono Etinan and Esit Eket.
The Ibibio, Annang, Eket who speak a dialect of the Ibibio language, Oron and Obolo comprising Ibono (Ibeno) and eastern Obolo people, are the largest ethnic groups. The Oro (Oron) is an ethnic group similar to the Efik which also speak a dialect of Ibibio language and predominant in neighbouring Cross River State, and found in five of the state Local Government Areas. Located at the Atlantic Ocean seafront are Eket, Ibeno and Eastern Obolo people. The Ibono have similarities with the Oro and Obolos. The Igbo language is also spoken in Akwa Ibom in the northern and western land borders. The Ibibio language belongs to the Benue-Congo language family, which forms part of the Niger-Congo group of languages.
The preservation of their history was important to the people, being the vital link between their present and their past. This has assisted the different group to define their identity and transmit same their children. Thus codification, preservation and transmission of these traditions occur at different level of the society- at family, lineage, village and at clan levels. The homogeneous nature of the people is accountable for the minor difference in their traditions and customs, including all other aspects of cultural life. Little or no difference exist in our dance songs, myths, shrines, funerals, folklore, mode of dressing, foods, cults, festivals and monuments. Akwa Ibom people are noted for wood carving, sculpture, pottery and most important cane and raffia works. Ikot Ekpene is recognized internationally for its raffia products hence the term RAFFIA CITY.
1.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Culture is a way of life. It is reflected in a people language, dance, food, breeding, cultivation, manners, learning, taste and style. Akwa Ibom state is a home of culture. Their rich homogeneous stock is expressed in their beautiful culture. The Akwa Ibom people are a largely mobile society. They are people whose culture can be identified with their language, ideas, beliefs, customs, codes traditional institutions tools, techniques, works of art, rituals and ceremonies. Intrinsic behaviours are bottled up and abolished through the use of taboos and stigmatization. Learned and freely variable behaviours are transmitted from parents to children and from generation to generation. Frequently, learned behaviour are showcased in cultural events such as traditional marriages, Obong coronation, market trading, daily lifestyle or even the more recent church-based events and festival. Given the importance of culture, as the total way of life of the people as expressed in the economic, social, technological and political institutions like other Nigerian people, Akwa Ibom people documented their experiences through oral traditions.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions will guide the study:
- In which areas in Akwa Ibom State does cultural conflict occur?
- What are those cultural conflicts that occur in among the three ethnic groups in the state?
- What are the impacts of the cultural conflict in the State?
- What should be done to mitigate those impacts?
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this research is to examine the cultural conflicts in Akwa Ibom State among Ibibio, Annang and Oron nation with the following objectives:
- To identify areas of cultural conflict in Akwa Ibom State among Ibibio, Annang and Oron.
- To examine those cultural conflicts that exists in the study area.
- To examine the impacts of cultural conflicts among the three ethnic groups.
- To proffer strategies to mitigate cultural conflict impacts among the ethnic group.
1.5 HYPOTHESIS FORMULATION
The following hypotheses are stated to guide the work:
HO: there is relationship between conflicting culture in Akwa Ibom state and the three ethnic groups.
HI: there is
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will unravel the contribution of cultural conflict to the socio_economic development of Akwa Ibom People and also identify the impacts associated with conflicting cultural in Akwa Ibom State. This study is very paramount in Akwa Ibom state since the three ethnic groups have their own uniqueculture which has started conflict among the groups.This study will help opinion leader and policy maker even entire state to continue living in peace and harmony.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research covers areas of conflicting culture in Akwa Ibom State and the associated impact arising from the conflicting culture. Though the study intended to cover the entire state, only two (2) Local Government Area in Ibibio, Annang and Oron with active conflicting culture is considered. Also financial constraint posed a problem to the success of this work as well as inability for the researcher to take enough photographs.
1.8 THE STUDY AREA
1.8.1 LOCATION AND AREA EXTENT
Akwa Ibom is a state in Nigeria. It is located in the coastal southern part of the country, lying between latitudes 4°32′N and 5°33′N, and longitudes 7°25′E and 8°25′E. The state is bordered on the east by Cross River State, on the west by Rivers State and Abia State, and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and the southernmost tip of Cross River State. The region of the state was created out of Cross River State on September 23, 1987 (Inyang, 2000). The people are predominantly of the Christian faith. The main ethnic groups of the state are: Ibibio, Annang and Oron. In terms of structural make up (Usoro, 2010). Akwa Ibom is triangular in shape and covers a total land area of 8,412 km2, encompassing the Qua Iboe River Basin, the western part of the lower Cross River Basin and the Eastern part of the Imo River Basin. With an ocean front which spans a distance of 129 kilometers from Ikot Abasi in the west to Oron in the east, Akwa Ibom presents a picture of captivating coastal, mangrove forest and beautiful sandy beach resorts (Usoro, 2010).
The location of Akwa Ibom just north of the Equator and within the humid tropics and its proximity to the sea makes the state generally humid. On the basis of its geographical location the climate of Akwa Ibom State can be described as a tropical rainy type which experiences abundant rainfall with very high temperature. The mean annual temperature of the state lies between 26°C and 29°C and average sunshine cumulates to 1,450 hours per year, while mean annual rainfall ranges from 2.000mm to 3.000 mm, depending on the area. Naturally, maximum humidity is recorded in July while the minimum occurs in January. Thick cloud cumulonimbus type is commonly experienced in the months of March to November. Evaporation is high with annual values that range from 1500 mm to 1800 mm. As with every Nigerian coastal area, the state experiences two main seasons, the wet and the dry seasons. The wet or rainy season lasts between eight to nine months starting from mid- march till the end of November. The dry season has a short duration of between the last week of November or early December and lasts till early march. Despite the seasonal variations, by the nature and location of the state along the coast which exposes it to hot maritime air mass, rainfall is expected every month of the year (Usoro, 2010; Inyang, 2000).
The climate of the state allows for favourable cultivation and extraction of agricultural and forest products such as palm produce, rubber, cocoa, rice, cassava, yam, plantain, banana, maize, and timber. There are basically two types of agriculture in Akwa lbom. The first is the small-scale peasant farming usually practiced on family basis, and which produces food crops such as cassava, maize, rice, yam and cocoyam for family consumption with the surplus sold in the local markets. The second type of farming is the estate farming which specialises in growing cash crops such as rubber, cocoa, rice and oil palm (Inyang, 2000).
The landscape of Akwa Ibom is mostly flat. This is because the underlying geology of the state is predominantly coastal plain sediments. The coastal nature of the state makes it the natural deposit of mosaic of marine, deltaic, estuarine, lagoon and fluvial- lacustrine material. Around Itu and Ibiono Ibom Local Area Councils, the topography of the land is undulating with some areas as high as 200 feet above sea level, while there are in some areas valleys, marshes, ravines and swamps due to influence of the Atlantic Ocean, Qua Ibo, Imo and the Cross Rivers. On the basis of terrain and landform types, the State has five major physiographic regions as indicated below (Usoro, 2010).
1.8.5 RELIEF AND DRAINAGE
Akwa Ibom State lies entirely on the coastal plain of Southern Nigeria. No part of the state constitutes an area of appreciably high relief apart from the extreme north-eastern corner of Obotme 175m and around Itu where the terrain is intensely dissected. The physical relief of the State is basically flat. There are in some areas, valleys, creeks and swamps due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, the Qua Iboe and the Cross Rivers which traverse the length and breadth of the State(Usoro, 2010).
The surface of Akwa Ibom State is drained by two major systems. This is the Kwa Iboe River and the Cross River systems. A third, the Imo River, exerts only a very minor influence in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, where a few seasonal streams join the Imo River a few kilometers up the River mouth. The Kwa Iboe River developed a sizeable basin which occupies the entire central and western portions of the state. The pattern of drainage is dendrite but the drainage density is low. It flow down the gentle sloping sand plain in fairly wide valley and well developed flood plain near Eket and a wide estuary at Ibeno. During the rainy season the stream tend to alleviate their channels to the extent of making them over fit.The eastern and northern half of the state is drained by the subsystems of rivers which flow into Cross River. These are Ikpa River of Enyong creek and the Nkana Rivers, whose basis reflect less permeable lithology. Cross River divided the state from Itu Local Government Area till it empties into Atlantic Ocean at the estuary (Inyang, 2000).