Interrogating the Influence of Communication on the Umuada Peacebuilding Culture in Igboland Since the Colonial Period in Nigeria
This paper interrogates the role of communication means, or the lack of it, in the peace-building and development activities of the Umuada (lineage daughters) in Igboland between 1900 and about 2010. Considering the prevalence and proliferation of seemingly 'intractable' conflicts in different parts of Africa, there have been advocacies for alternative conflict resolution models and the incorporation of indigenous structures and traditions into formal peace-building activities. Among the Igbo of southeastern Nigeria, the indispensability of Umuada’s peace-building roles in Igboland during the pre-colonial period cannot be disputed and hence the suggestions for its involvement in formal peace-building activities in the various localities especially in view of its resilience in the face of the stifling colonial and other external influences. Based on data from both primary and secondary sources and using the historical descriptive and analytical method, this paper reveals how communication gaps and its improvement later, have been chiefly responsible for both the initial weakening and the later vivification, respectively, of the peace-building and development potentials of the Umuada during the period. Significantly, the paper advocates the strengthening of the means of communication as a possible way of enhancing the potentials and adaptability of the Umuada tradition to formal peace-building activities.