Regionalism, Party Politics and Inter-Group Relations: A Case of the Idoma and their Neighbours, 1946-1967
(Volume 1, Issue 1, January 2018)
The focus of this paper is to examine the impact of regionalism and party politics on the Idoma and their neighbours during the period 1960-1967. This is important in a number of ways. Firstly, the introduction of the Richard constitution in 1946 was important to our understanding of the colonial policy of divide and rule system. Secondly, the formation of political parties since 1923 did not only encourage anti-colonial struggle, but also had tremendous impact on the Idoma and their neighbours. Taken together, therefore, with the introduction of regionalism, the formation of political parties in the Nigerian area took a regional outlook. The Idoma and some of their neighbours, however, were located territorially in the transitional zone between the North and the South. This influence the supports each of the groups gave to the various political parties on the eve of independence in 1960. The Idoma were staunch supporters of the Northern People Congress (NPC), the Tiv were staunch supporters of the United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC), and the Igbo were staunch supporters of the National Council for Nigeria and the Cameroon (NCNC). These historical antecedents influenced the nature of relations between the Idoma and their neighbours.
Keywords: Regionalism, Party Politics andInter-Group Relations