EXAMINATION OF INTER-GROUP RELATIONS AMONGST THE BENDE-ANNANG COMMUNITIES IN THE PRE-COLONIAL AFRICA March 26, 2020 0 14 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Post Views: 7
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION This research examines the phenomenon of inter-group relations amongst the Bende and Annang communities in Nigeria. Historically Nigeria ethnic groups had achieved a high level of integration prior to the colonial conquest. Long distance trade, migratory movements and socio –economic inter-group relations had help made ethnic and cultural integration an integral part in the evolution of Nigeria. In this paper, an attempt was made to scrutinize some popular but defective assertions relating to inter- group relations and ethnicity .throughout the world, human beings have devised very different method for adopting to their environment and solving their problem over the periods of time, these methods become a way of life passed on from generation to the next as a design for living each succeeding generation may modify and add to the design but the basic patterns show remarkable stability. This research is in the field of the Bende people and Annang people relations in pre-colonial Africa.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY Bende is one of the cultural areas in Abia State. When talking about Bende, it means a people in Abia State Abia state was carved out of the former Imo state in 1991. The name “Abia” is an abbreviation of four of the states densely populated regions Aba, Bende, Isiukwuato, and Afikpo of which Afikpo later was carved out to form the present day Ebonyi state. The present day Bende L. G. A was formally called old Bende which administrative and geo-political area stretched at that time, from Arochukwu to umuahia and included such town as Uturu, Ihechiowa, Ohafia, Abiriba, Nkporo, Abam, Umuhu, Bende, Igbere, Item, Alayi, Ozu-item Isiukwuato, Uzuakoli, Nkpa, Umuahia, and Ikwuano with a population of 3million people citizens from the old bende L. G. A are simply referred to as “ Bende” people because of their dialect. The Bende town is still the administrative seat Bende in the present day Abia state Local Government areas Structure1. Bende today has many towns namely Nkpa, Usoakoli, Ozuitem, Isuochi, Isiegbu, Ogboko, Agbuoa, Imienyi, Obuofia, Ugwueke, Eziukwu, Igbere with the total population of about 128.227 based on 2006 population census. Bende is predominantly farmers and local traders. Bende is blessed with so many natural resources like salt, Gold, phosphate, laterite, gravel and lime stone. It is also one of the three agricultural backbones of Abia state. The people cultivate yam, cassava, cocoyam and harvest large palm oil plantation for commercial and personal consumption which was formerly the heavy earner for the people in the L. G. A before the oil boom. The Bende people are known for their bravery and self-reliance. They showed a lot of these traits in the wars of survival during the Nigerian Biafran war. Chief Emenike Kalu said that those victories over enemies were copiously celebrated with our trademark and famous Bende war dance which is very unique and very popular, the war dance is a constant staple in our cultural diet. Through their bravery, the Bende were able to survive during the era when might was power2.