An Evaluation of the Effects of Local-state Conflict on Social Development of Local Government in Nigeria (a Study of Afikpo South Local Government Ebonyi State)



Conflict is about clash differences between  two parties in opposition or in which the opinion differs. The conflict that exist between Ebonyi state Government and Afikpo South Local Government Area, is the conflict that was derived from the constitution and the laws guilding the two levels of Government. local government is often being looked at as the government at local level that helps to implement some Federal Government policies to the grassroots people. The purpose of this study is to know why conflicts exist in Afikpo south local government area. Also to identify various causes of conflict in Afikpo south local government area. For proper presentation of data collected, tabulation and percentages were used. The data was arranged in the form of table and interpretation. The findings of this research work are summarized as follows: male dominates the highest number of staff in Afikpo south  local government area. It also shows that conflict exist between the state government and local government area. The researcher recommends that the state government should ensure that were the function clash with the local government, if it is the people interest, this will help to make people support the policies of the state government. 





1.1     Background to the Study

          Conflict simply means struggle, clashing, fight or opposition of incompatible wishes. Panel and Wehrich (1983:488) are of the opinion that conflict develops in any organization or society because people do not understand their assignment and reputation of those of their co-workers. Conflict is a deliberate attempt to oppose, resist or  coerce the will of another or others.  Every form of social development is characterized by one form of conflict or another. The conflict between the local government and state governments can be traced to the time Nigeria become a Federation. Appadorai (1982:497 -8) stated that a federation is a Union of states with common recognized authority, especially in respect of external relations. Also the component states give up their sovereignty in favour of the new state. He further argued that the citizen in a federal state has to obey the federal and state government. The creation of new states, brought about new development in the area concerned. Local government was equally created to make the social development of local areas possible. When Ebonyi state was created, Afikpo south local government was among the largest.

    1. Statement of the Problem

Local government was created to serve the local  needs and to facilitate proper government in the federal structure like Nigeria. As  the third tier, a lot of responsibilities are entrusted on it especially for the mobilization of people at the grassroots for  effective participation in the day to day running of the government. This is  the major source of the problem. The local government share allocation or statutory allocation from the federation account no longer go to the local government directly, but to the “state joint Account” between the state and the local government. This very account is operated by the state governments and is used to control the local government. that is to say, local government now depends on the sweet wishes of the state governments. Also the state detect what happens in the local government both policies and programmes and in control of the election of local government officials leading conflicts between  it and the state government.  This study therefore tries to investigate the effects of this conflict on the provision of social amenities in the local government Area.

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1.03   Objective of the Study

            The purpose of this study is

  1. To know why conflicts exist in Afikpo south local government area.
  2. To identify various causes of conflicts in Afikpo south local government area.
  3. To possibly determine measures of curbing these conflicts.
  4. To highlight why there have been abortive measures in curbing these conflict in the local government. 
  5. To make recommendation based on the findings of the study.

1.04   Research Question

1.       Does conflict indeed exist in Afikpo south local government area?

2.       Are there effects of conflicts in Afikpo south local government area?

3.     Has the state government made any attempt in resolving the conflict in Afikpo south local government area?

4.       Has there been any strategy applied by the local government in resolving the conflict?

1.05   Scope of the Study

This study focuses on the effect of local – state conflict on social Development of local government in Nigeria. Using Afikpo south local government of Ebonyi state as the case point. It was focused on this area due to financial and time factor which could not allow the researcher  to carry it out in other area relating to local governem3nt administration. The time covered by the study is 2010 -2014, that is the timeframe within which the study is carried.


1.06   Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will help in addressing the areas of conflict between the state and local government areas. This study will be of significant benefit to some of the local government officials and employees. The study will serve as reference material to future researchers.  

1.07   Limitations of the Study

The worst thing that can happen to any local government is to have impatriotic citizens,  whose behaviour are full of tribalism and parochial in their perception of things.

FINANCE: The researcher being a student, had undergone immeasurable and considerable financial  inadequacies and this could not permit him to carryout more researches in some other areas relating to conflicts in local governments in Nigeria. Most developing local governments remain undeveloped not because nature has not endured them with resources, because their attitude and perceptions.

TIME FACTOR: This is a barrier to this research work. The time to source for data was shared with other academic commitments and this become a limitation to the study.

    1. Definition of Terms

   LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Local government can be defined as a system of government at the local level exercise through locally elected representative council enjoying substantial autonomy  in the exercise in a specific powers over a given locality in the performance of a range of functions and responsibilities allocated to it by law (Golding 1975:9)

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Social development can be defined as prioritizing human needs in the growth and progression of society.




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