Social Control System – Role Of Traditional Associations Of Edda

Social Control System – Role Of Traditional Associations Of Edda

Social Control System – Role Of Traditional Associations Of Edda

The most popular tradition of origin among the Edda people relates that they are descendents of a certain projector called “Henta”. The Edda people believe that their ancestral father and his family led a majority movement which began at a place called ‘Akpa’ (Eastern part of Cross River State) From Akpa, thus passed through ‘Une’ and then on to ‘Ogba’ where they made a brief spell of sojourn.

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Ogba, in Edda tradition of origin, is a place believe to be a cave-like structure in the coastal regions of the present Arochukwu. Indeed, some narrators affirm that Ogba was situated in a place called ‘Oru-Ocha-Eru’ in Arochukwu. When they left Ogba, Ifenta and his people moved into a community in the present Arochukwu which the people of Edda belive was founded by their ancestors. As the migration progressed, the group various times, made occassional brief settlements at Ugwuakuma and Umuchi-Ekuma, both of which towns are now situated between Ohafia and Arochukwu areas believed to be site of the present Elu-Ohafia, but they had a considerable spell of sojourn.

‘Okagwe’ was also mentioned as one of their points of temporary settlement. During the course of their wondering and eventual migration to their present settlement, the group that has come to be known as the ‘Edda’ got to ‘Ukwukwa Okagwe’ (a village in the present Ohafia Local Government Area in Abia State) where they saw a lot of wild fruits and decided to settle there for some time.

Okoro (1990:29), informs that there at Ukwukwa Okagwe their leader and father Eze begot five children namely; Uduma Eze (first son), Igbo Eze, Onymobi Eze, Agom Eze and Afo Eze (his only daughter). Their sojourn at ‘Nkuebi’ was not destined to be permanent, the four sons of Eze later dispersed into different directions to found different clans.

This dispersion probably must have occurred after the death of their father Eze. Not much was known about their sister Afo Eze after the dispersion, but it is said that the four son’s went out and later founded the following clans.

1. Uduma Eze (their Eldest son) –founded the present Ohafia in Abia State.

2. Igbo Eze founded the present Edda, Afikpo South Local government area in Ebonyi State.

3. Onyerubi Eze founded the present Abam in Abia State.

4. Agom Eze founded OKposi in Ebonyi State.

According to tradition, the name ‘Edda’ which was the center of focus in these research topic derived from the nick name of Igbo Eze ‘Onye Eda’ while ‘Onye Uhe Ofia’ was the nick name to Uduma Eze, which meta phosised into what we known today as ‘Ohafia’. To this date both communities share a common boundary in Abia and Ebonyi States and are to some extent what makes ‘Edda’ a clan and according to Wilkins (1978:145), membership of a clan is based on a well defined blood relationship, but this could have been an actuality only for a few generation. Following the dispersal of the children of Eze from Nkwuebi, Igbo Eze moved further north with his own group to Ama Nguzu intending to settle down there. But an attack by another group which had already settled at Ama Nguzu forced the group back to Nkwuebi. This retreat however, was not final. The Igbo Eze group made a second attempt at settling at Ama Nguzu which was successful as they thought of the earlier settlers and then finally settled there. It was from Ama Nguzu that this group surged further up to locate Ifuogo Nguzu, thereby making the first identifiable settlement from here that the present ten autonomous communities-Amangwu, Ebunwana, Ekoli, Nguzu, Owutu, Oso, Etiti, Umunato, Idima e.t.c came to existence. Thought there are other myths about the origin of the Eddas in which one of them is that of I.H Shelton who was a one time district council in Edda (1955:56), the tradition supports the view of Isichei (1976:22), that the ‘Edda’ believe that they come from an original home-land-east of the Cross River to their present territory in the Edda Hills.

The geographical condition of Edda profoundly effects on its socio-political and economic development experiences. Edda clan which is presently located in Afikpo South (Edda) Local Government Area, occupies an important place in the hierarchy of rural and urban settlements in Igbo-land. This is due to her exploits in traditional warfare during the era of inter-tribal wars. In the traditional settings, Edda is constituted by seventy two villages (Ogo and Ama) each which has secondary units or compounds (Ezi) in turn incorporating a number of lineage settlement.

The English name Afikpo South was given to Edda when she was carved out from the then old Afikpo local government area in 1991 by Babangidas administration. It’s land-mass is estimated at 90 square miles or about 144 square kilometers. Edda land is situated within the geographical magnitudes 7.43 and 7.55 degrees east of the meridian and between latitude 5.45 and 5.58 degrees north of equator. Edda is bounded on the north by Okposi Amasiri, on the south by Ohafia and on the east by Unwana while bounding it on the west is Nkporo. On the north east of Edd is found Afikpo town and on the south east is Erei (Emma) a Cross river State Community. On the north west, Edda is boarded by Akaeze, and on the South-West by Abiriba. In addition to geographical proximity, Edda’s historical experience and cultural life shows much similarity with those of her neighbouring towns notably Ohafia, Nkporo all in Abia State and Afikpo in Ebonyi State.

Okoro (1990:25) says that the projected present population of Edda is estimated at over 364491 a hilly region generally, and the hills constitute a range which run in an east west fashion across the land mass thereby creating a geographical dichotomy in Edda-the Nde-elu’ (upper Edda) and ‘Ndi-agbo’ Edda (lower Edda). The hills of Edda are extension of the Nsukka-Udi plateau which runs South words to meet the Okigwe costal and then passes east words through Edda to Arochukwu direction.

The highest hill in Edda regime is the Itim Edda hill (Ugwu Itim) which rises up to 756 feet (about 231meters) above sea level.


In this study, the researcher intends to examine the problems hindering the role of traditional associations in social control in (Edda) Afikpo South Local Government Area.

The researcher will also discuss the problems affecting the traditional organization administration of justice and how these can shape new policies for traditional association in social control.

Again, the researcher will also examine how the traditional associations can improve the modern development and democratic governance of Afikpo South (Edda) local government area.

Lastly, the researcher will also examine how the various mercenaries like traditional rulers, council of elders, age grades and other groups like helps in developing the whole locality.


The objective of these study is:

1. To find out methods employed by traditional associations in controlling their territory.

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2. To find out whether there are difficulties that constrain the role of traditional associations in social control system of Edda and techniques in use.

3. To find out the nature and role of traditional leader in social control of the community.

4. To find out the roles of the leaders from the association they belong.


It is presumed that this research work would be of benefit to the people of Edda and other social Science out a similar study by acquainting them with valuable facts concerning the role of traditional associations in social control system of Igbo land and Edda in particular. Thus the findings of this study cannot be devoid of being an academic guidance or materials for those who may wish to came out further research concerning the topic.

This study also would help the progressive minded individuals and groups to understand the relevance roles of traditional associations in social control and then be able to suggest very vital points that would help build and maintain traditional social control in Afikpo South (Edda) local government area in Ebonyi State.


1. What are the instructional method used by the traditional associations in social control of Afikpo South Local government area?

2. What are the rules and regulations guiding the various area?

3. What are the opportunities open for the masses to ask question in the area they are doubting?

4. Are there any areas the traditional leaders find difficult to handle?

5. Is the role of traditional association in social control sufficient?


This study is centered on examining the role of traditional associations in social control system of Afikpo South (Edda) local government area in Ebonyi State.

The criterion for selecting Edda as an area of focus s that the researcher is interested in knowing various groups and their roles in Edda.

Again, only the leaders of the group, influence members, elders and chiefs were sampled.


A research project such as this never goes without problems and it certainly had a share of it.

The researcher was constrained by time and finance so that only Afikpo South (Edda) Local Government Area was covered.

This research work centers on the role of traditional associations in social control. It has dwelt its findings and analyses around Afikpo South (Edda) local government area, Ebonyi State as a study.

The researcher attempts to know the role of traditional associations in social control system of Edda.


For clarity, some of the concepts or terms used in this study are defined as follows:

ROLE: The term “Role” is defined as a way in which someone or something is involved in an activity.

TRADITIONAL: The term “Traditional” is defined as following ideas and methods that have being in existence. Again, traditional is being part of the traditions of a country or group of people.

ASSOCIATION: The term “Association” is an organization that consists of group of people who have the same aim s, do the same kind of work.

SOCIAL CONTROL: The term “Social control” refers to beings with the study of social order within which people interact.

According to sociologists, social control we mean the manner through which a group or a society cause it to believe in the expected manner.

EZE: The traditional ruler of the town other words called the king or his royal highness.


As a social scientific piece of inquiring this research must be guided by a theoretical framework that is a system of inter-related concepts suggesting theoretical, fruitful lines of empirical investigation.

This research, therefore, shall adopt the following two theoretical framework:

1. The Ethnomethodologist theory and

2. The value-consensus theory of social order


Ethnomethodology is a new theoretical perspective in sociology which is credited to an American sociologist Harold Garfinkel.

His book, studies in Ethnomethodology, which provided the initial framework for the perspective was published in 1967.

The point of departure of ethnomethodology of the study of the methods used by people. Ethnomethodologists begins with the assumption that society exists only in so far as members perceive its existence.

It should be noted that one of the major concerns of sociology is the explanation of social order.

Ethnomethodology believes that social order simply appear to exists because of the way members perceive and interprete social reality.

Social order therefore becomes a convenient fiction, an appearance of control constructed by members of the society.

This appearance allows the social world to be described and explained and so made knowable, reasonable, understandable and “accountable” to its members.

The methods and accounting procedures used by members for creating a sense of order from the subject matter of ethnomethodoloical inquiring, (Haralambos et al 1980),

Zimmerman and Wieder (1971) state that the ethnomethodolgist is “concerned with how members of society go about the task of seeing, describing and explaining order in the world in which they live”.

However, the empirical validity of ethnomethodology was questioned by Giddens and Goldthorpe (1973). Its critics have argued that the members who populate the kind society portrayed by ethnomethodologists appear to lack any motives and goals and there is little indication in the writings of ethnomethodologists as to why people want to behave or are made to behave in particular ways.

This theoretical framework is deemed adequate in analyzing this research topic because it has properly addressed the problem of conceptualization of the term “social control”. It laid emphasis on how people accounts for their social reality which captured the major interest of this research project work on role of traditional associations in social control in Edda town.


Value consensus theory states that order is based on some minimal consensus in certain values, which are predominantly moral but may also be technical and aesthetic, (Durkheim 19547).

This theory was advanced by August Comte (1798-1857) and to some extent by Emile Durkheim (1858-1917). The basic argument underlying this theory is that if men are commuted to the same values they recognize a common identify as against others, they accept common goals and also certain prescriptions and prohibitions concerning the means whereby these goals can be achieved.

Comte argues that the disorder in society was due to lack of consensus on certain fundamental ideas and principles concerning the desired type of society and the proper means of administration.

He considered that consensus was reduced by the growth of the division of labour, which promoted sectional differences and conflict.

Durkheim (1947) rejected much of Comte argument. He recognized that the division of labour promoted differences and conflicts, but considered that it also provided a new moral conception of interdependence. In highly differentiated societies, there could be no consensus based on detailed moral rules and the acceptance of total systems of ideas there could, however be a consensus on certain diffuse moral values which prescribed limits within which different sets of rules could exist.

Furthermore, it is the assumption of value- consensus theory that the possible causes of disorder and change occurs when there is a clash. It is on this premise that the theory gives a direction for a study on what hold the people of Edda together and traditional associations in webs of social control in the society.

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This chapter deals with method and procedures used for carrying out of this research work, the procedures includes:

3.1 Research design

3.2 Area of study

3.3 Population of the study

3.4 Sample size

3.5 Research instrument

3.6 Methods of Data Analysis


The Research Design is the framework of plan that is used as a guide in collecting and analyzing the data of study.


The study area is carried out in ten (10) autonomous communities in Adikpo South (Edda) Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

The Communities Are:








Idimma and



The study population is restricted to Afikpo South (Edda) local government area of Ebonyi State. The whole population is considered ass the universe from which adequate samples will be drawn.

This embraces all the ten autonomous Communities of the local government areas, namely:



Etiti —-251553

Amangwu—16, 560


Oso —-18,496



Idima and —-11,500

Libolo Edda—-12,520

Total 280,378

Hence, the recent population figure of 2006 is not yet out, we shall therefore project the 1991 population count, using (2%) population increase rate per year. Therefore from the above, the total estimated population size of Afikpo South is 280, 378 (1991) projecting this figure, the estimated population size of (2006) population count is


Therefore, this figure is 2% increase per year of the population multiplied by (15years) which is the distance between (1991) population counts (2006) which figure 34,113 for 15 years. We shall therefore sum this figure (34113) to the 91991) population count which is (280378).

In summary, the estimated population count for (2006) is 364491.


This means the total number of two hundred and twenty five (225) questionnaires were sampled and distributed. And two hundred (200) while twenty five (25) were lost.


The instrument used in collecting information for the work are questionnaire, oral interview, documentary evidence and participant observation.


The study employs both qualitative and qualitative methods of analysis. Descriptive Statistics such as tables and percentages will be used in data analysis.

Thus a questionnaire with eighteen items was designed and distributed to two hundred and twenty five respondents. A total of two hundred copies of questionnaire were retrieved and eight people were interviewed orally. However, the data collected is based on the formulated questions.


How long have you lived and been part of the social activities in Edda community.

In answering the afore-mentioned questions, the data on table 4.2 was used to analyse the level of responses from the respondents.


Who and what constitute the agents of traditional social control in Afikpo South (Edda)?


Do you think that western contact has reduced the role of traditional associations and values?


Based on this impact, would you say that deviant behaviour has increased?

The deviant behaviours in Edda are as follows;



Drug Addiction and



Which do you consider more effective controlling deviant behaviour?


Do you think that the chiefs, age-grade, title holders are still very capable in controlling deviant behaviour?


In analyzing the result of research question one, assessment was used to know the extent that they have lived and been part of social activities in Edda.

Interpreting research question two, age-grade forms the agents of traditional social control in Edda, followed by women association (Umuada), while Di-ji association, masquerade groups deities (Arusi) are not really represented in the sample. Therefore, awareness should be created by the other groups so as to partake in the role of traditional association in social control in Edda.

Coming to the research question three which centers on western method role of traditional associations and values, it is seen or noticed that traditional associations finds it difficult to contend with the western method of controlling deviance.

This could be attributed to indirect rule where the whites see our culture as inferior because they feel high and pride by telling the researchers that western contact has reduced the role of traditional associations and values.

Furthermore, the research question four which is whether deviant behaviour has increased, table 4.4 shows that deviant behaviour has increased in Edda making a total of 85% while 15% of the people of Edda said deviant behaviour has not increased.

Thus, research question five which is concerned on the method that best suit the way in controlling deviant behaviour we noticed that traditional method was not accepted. The traditional method has a few percent higher than the combination method which means modern method will be accepted with little awareness created by people.

Finally, the last research centers on whether chiefs, age-grades and title holders are capable in controlling deviant behaviour. Table 4.7 reveals that they are still capable in controlling deviant behaviour. This means that chiefs, age-grade and title holders are able to cope with the development in controlling deviant behaviour in Edda.


The political stability of Edda traditional society is rooted in the very structure of Edda society itself. This stability does not mean the absence of deviants but the presence of social control and agents for checking them effectively. It is a fact that no society whether modern or traditional nor combination can achieve total conformity from her members. Some members are bound to deviate but such deviants could be checked by the use of ridicule (ime akaja) as we have seen of Edda community. Also from the discussion so far made in this paper based on research evidence, the role of traditional associations in social control in Edda and the agents through which they are applied have been highlighted.

The various method imposed on deviant as we have seen in this paper were used as systems for the sustainance of much desired social order in Edda and additionally serve as effective deterrent to potential deviants.

The democratic nature of the tradition legal proceeding and socialization in Edda community makes it possible for the people to accept decision arrived at after deliberations by any agent of social control.

It is because of this that any sanction or fine imposed on any offender from such deliberations is binding on such a person.


In conclusion, we have observed that in Edda, the role traditional association in social control and their agents are not the only method approaching problems of social control. Many approaches abound which can be adopted by any society to suit their cultural background. Hence, for social control measures to be very effective, they have to reflect the religious beliefs and cultural background of the society adopting them as we have seen of Edda community in these paper.

From the data analyzed, we can see that ridicules is a very powerful punishment in social control system of Edda in that it helps to bring back to conformity deviants when it is directed at. We also see that fine is used in Edda community as a role of the traditional association in social control system of Edda. It is a type of punishment given to those who have been found quality of minor offences like assault, damages to economic tress, who goes to form on orie market day, e.t.c

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From the findings of this work, it can be concluded that unless there is a full participation of the elder and other social bodies like the churches. They are involved in the social control system of Edda, they cannot control deviant behaviour in Afikpo South (Edda) Local Government Area.


The recommendations made here are based more or less on the whole outcome of the research work. On the basis of my finding, the following recommendations are hereby made.

1. I recommend that there should be a blend of the tradition and modern social control mechanisms by the people of Edda in a bid for social order in proper maintenance of social order in the community.

2. The role of traditional association in social control not only focus on the age-grade and women, they should also alert the other agents like the Di-Ji association, masquerade groups and deities (Arusi) which they undermine.

3. The traditional association should eradicate or eliminate element of sycophant practice in them and let justice prevail.

4. There must be full capacity of truest on the agents so that anything they say, people will believe them and give them support.

5. They should build good relationship with their subject and treat every body equal and should not be influenced by wealth or persons status and should be transparent in their statement.


As a result for the findings of the research and observations made, the researcher suggests the following:

1. The area of study for this topic should be extended to include other communities in the state.

2. A repeat of this research to incorporate a wider geographical area.

3. A detailed knowledge and information, culture and tradition needed before the study if traditional social control system.

4. There should be more efforts to traditional agents of social control in checking defiant behaviour.


Arunsi S.J et al (1994) Edda Heritage Lagos Nigeria.

Beattle, J. (1972) other culture, London Reuthledge and kegan, Paul Ltd

Durkheim, E. (1955) Sociological Theory –its nature and growth. (ed) Timashelf, N.S. et al, New York Random House.

Enworo, C.E. et al (1980) The History of Ebunwana Welfare Union, Owerri, Edda Wood foundation

Fedipe, N.A. (1970), The Sociology of the Yourbas, Ibadan, University Press, Ibadan.

Ibe, Okoro U. (1999) Edda Trumpet, Lagos, versatile Publishing Company.

Ifemesia, A.C (1979) Traditional Humane Living among the Igbo, Enugu, Fourth Dimension Publishers.

Isichei, E. (1976) A History of the Igbo people London, Macmillan Press Ltd.

Hunt, F.F. (1966) Social Science-An introduction to the study of society, 3rd edition, New York Macmillan Co. Ltd.

Hunter, E. et al, (eds) (1976) Encyclopedia of Anthropology, New York, Haarper and Roll Publishers.

Okoro U.U (1990) Towards the Rebirth of Edda, Owerri Edda Wood Foundation.

Landis, P.H (1961) Social Living, 3rd ed. London Hutdinsons University Library.

Laplerre, R.T. (1954) A Theory of social Control, New York Mograw hill Publishing Co.Ltd.

Leisber, Jew. (1971) Igbo Village Community, Ibadanthe concot Press (W.A) Ltd.

Merton, R. (1968) Social Theory and Social Structure, New York, The free Press.

Onwuejeogwu, A.M. (1975) The Social Anthropology of Africa, Lagos Heineman Education BK. Ltd.

Raddiffe-Brown, A. (1971) Structures and dunctions in primitive society, London Cohon 8 West Ltd.

Sills, D.L (1972), International encyclopedia of the social Science (ed) Vol. 13 New York, crowel collier and Macmillan.

Sills, D.L (1968) International Encyclopedia of the social sciences (ed) Vol. 13 New York Crowel, Collier and Macmillan.

Worseley .P et al (1970) International sociology, Harmonds worth, Penguim Books Ltd.


Tick in the relevant box or write out the relevant information as appropriate.

1. Sex: (a) Male (b) Female

2. Age Range: 20-30



50 and above

3. Religion: (a) Christianity (b) Traditional

c. Islam

4. Have long have you lived and been part of the social activities in Edda community?

10year and below 11years 22years 42year

5. Are there behaviour patterns that constitute crime or acts of deviance norms in Afikpo South (Edda) Local Government Area: (a) Yes (b) No

6. If yes which one?

a. Murder

b. Stealing

c. Incest

d. Suicide

e. Rape

f. Insubordination

g. Abortion

h. Adultery

i. Extra-marital pregnancy

j. Marrying an out cast

k. Widow hood subjugation

l. Others

7. Tick the corresponding punishment which such act attracts.

a. Murder

i. Killing the murder in turn

ii. Ostracism

iii. Banishment

iv. Heavy fine

v. Any other


i. Heavy fine

ii. Parading the thief in market place or public square naked

iii. Flogging publicly

iv. Repatriation of the stolen items with or with fine.

vi. Any other.


i. Ostracism

ii. Lynching

iii. Flogging and naked publicly

iv. Swearing as atonement never to repeat the act for life (public penance)

v. Any other


i. Removing the corpse to evil forest

ii. Burial without funeral vites

iii. Non-interment of the corpse

iv. Burning of the corpse

v. Burial with half rites

vi. Any other

e. RAPE:

i. Banishment

ii. Flogging publicly

iii. Heavy fine

iv. Parading the rapist in the public place

Any other


i. Heavy fine

ii. Ostracism

iii. Light fine

iv. Flogging publicly

Swearing as atonement never to repeat the act for life


i. Lynching

ii. Parading the abortionist in the market place

iii. Swearing as atonement never to repeat the act for life

iv. Ostracism

v. Any other


i. Flogging publicly

ii. Heavy fine

iii. Ostracism

iv. Parading the does in the market place

v. Any other


i. Ostracism

ii. Banishment

iii. Heavy fine

iv. Swearing as atonement never to repeat the act for life

v. Any other


i. Banishment

ii. Ostracism

iii. Heavy fine

iv. Light fine

v. Any other


i. Ostracism

ii. Banishment

iii. Heavy fine

iv. Light

v. Swearing an atonement never to repeat that act for life

vi. Any other

8. How effectively can you implement the sanction as to yield a good result?

9. Give reasons for your answer—————————————————————————————-

10. Who and what constitute the agents of traditional social control in Afikpo South (Edda)?

a. Age-grade Association

b. Women Association (Umuada)

c. Chief priest and diviners

d. The Di-ji Association

e. Ozo (Titled holder Association

f. Masquerade groups

g. Extended family Association (Umunna)

h. Deities (Arusi)

i. All of the above

j. Any other

11. What are the major role of traditional association in social control in Edda

a. Gossip

b. Praise

c. Ridicule (ime akaja)

d. Ritual cleaning (Ikpu Alu)

e. Oath taking (inu iyi)

f. Fine

g. Ostracism

h. Banishment

12. Suggest Measures to improve the usefulness of the role traditional association modes of social control


13. Do you think that the chiefs, age-grade, title holder are still capable in controlling deviant behaviour Yes No

14. Give reasons for your answer:


Social Control System – Role Of Traditional Associations Of Edda

To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to

GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183

Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.  

Enter your email address:

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  1. emegha azubuike says:

    chukuka have a good work they keep it up.kudos

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