CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTIONBackground of the StudyNational identity is becoming an increasing important discourse in today globalised world. More important also is the history behind such identity. In other words, the knowledge of peoples past can inspire the attainment of future goals.1 The knowledge of the past involves the movement of people from place to place in small or large numbers for variety of reasons which include drought conditions, population explosion, political oppression, the search for better land or new opportunities, outbreak of epidemics involving great loss of lives among others, also they were voluntary or forceful migrations of people, especially during the time of slave trade when needing their services.2Nsit Ibom is one of the Ibibio speaking Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Nsit Ibom is located within the central Akwa Ibom state and sharing boundaries with Ibesikpo/Asutan, Etinan, Nsit Ubium, and Uyo local government areas, the people of Nsit Ibom are of the Ibibio ethnic extraction. Nsit Ibom has a male population of 57,750 and a female population of 50,861 for a total of 108,611, according to the 2006 national population census.Nsit Ibom comprises the following urban communities: Afaha Offiong, Edeobom, Oboyo Ikot Ita, Oboetim Ikot Ekong, Obio Okpok, Obo Ntong, Ikot Obok, Obo Etuk, Ikot Enwene, Asang and Okukok. It has two sub clans which are Asang and Mbiaso. The Akwa Ibom State college of education (AKSCOE) is located at Afaha Nsit. Nsit Ibom has its head quarters at Afaha Offiong. The main occupation of Nsit people is mainly small scale farming and trade owing to a massive acre of land in the area.3What is now Nsit Ibom is derived from the political history of the area. Politically, Nsit Ibom had its unbroken infirmity from ages gone by, before today Nsit Ibom was a part of the present day Etinan and was carved out and given full autonomy.Nsit Ibom people were involved in socio-cultural economic and political activities prior to the coming of the Europeans to Nigeria. The people were mainly agrarians, Nsit Ibom is an Ibibio speaking land, she is known for fertile soil which yields bountiful harvest and the people are known for their hospitality. Like other African communities what was operational then was barter system, not until the advent of monetary system. The people believed in communal living. Everything was done and shared accordingly by family heads but over time, there has been a slight change in administration of duties.4
1.2 Statement of the ProblemThe role of Deities in pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial Ibibio land cannot be over looked since they helped to regulate behaviors and guaranteed an orderly society. The fact is that the European institution which were introduced into our society do not only cause set back to the recognition of Deities in Ibibio land, but also a total denial of the role played by the deity during the pre-colonial period. 5 However in Ibibio land, the role played by Anyang Nsit Deity were enormous, the efficacies of this deity in maintaining the law and order also in the dispensation of justice in Nsit clan could not be compared to the white man’s institution that came to displace them.This traditional institutions were accorded high degree of respect which in no way could be measured with that of the contemporary institutions of governance like the court, police, despite this glaring facts people tends to turn to the white man’s institution and administration and ways of resolving conflicts neglecting our traditional institution through the suppression of traditional cultures in favour of the European culture. Whereas, what adorns a nation-state which prestige is her rich culture, traditions and values, to be diminishing in our society as a result of colonialism.6Be it as it may, these challenges have encouraged the researcher to embark on the present study to bring to the knowledge of the Ibibio people, Akwa Ibom and its environs in general the various roles of Anyang Nsit deity from pre-colonial era to 2015 in the stability of Nsit clan.1.3 Aims and Objectives of the StudyThe objectives of the study are as follows:The study tends to analyze the role of secret societies in pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial Nsit Ibom clan;Access the pre-colonial institution of governance and the role of Anyang Nsit deity in settling disputes in Nsit clan;Identifying Anyang Nsit deity as the deity of Nsit clan and also trance their origin.Access the influence of colonialism on Anyang Nsit deity in Nsit clan.7Carry out an appraisal of the relevance of Anyang Nsit deity in pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial Nsit clan.