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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background of the Study

Society survival and growth depends on a number of things, among them is a system of communications. According to Bitner (1980) quoted in Okuna (1999).

What we know as communication today has developed over a number of centuries. The sophisticated and complexity which characterized human communication in the modern world are the result of very long and sustained efforts by human beings to improve on one of the most fundamental aspects of their existence; Okuna (1993).

Communication began when humanity existed. The early men who inhabitad the earth ten million years lived in caves and they had faces and behaviours of apes. The form of communication used as at then, before the manifestation of language was mostly through touch (tactile communication) and vocal signals.

Communication according to Okunna (1991) is  basically the means to share ideas, information, opinions, feelings or experience between people so what then is traditional communication? It is the type of communication that ideas mainly with the use of signs and symbols, drum language. Masquerades and Puppet Theater, the traditional forms of communication found in Nigerian culture, reflects tensions that exist between oral and literate cultures. It has been used right from the time by our people in the rural areas to decode meanings based on what language one speaks, the sounds and sequence of sounds which were given by the different ethnic groups is understood by them and their offspring. It is an adventure of social conventions which have been sharpen and blended into veritable communication modes and system that have become standard practices for society.

The use of signs and symbols to communicate is a typical attribute of traditional communication is a typical attribute of traditional communication for examples, the palm frond (eyei) that is displayed in a plot of land signifies that an injunction into the land has been placed sending a piece of palm frond (eyei) to someone in the house or a neighbouring community also signifies some kind of problem only understood by the symbol users the Ekpo, Ekpo, Obon, ekong masquerades also have a traditional sign and symbol which makes their communication possible within the groups. A town crier beats the drum even without saying anything gets the people alert and ready for announcement.

A white native chalk (ndom) or black charcoal (nkang) when used symbolizes something in any rural community that understands its usage. The palm frond (eyei), speech, folkcore and proverbs are also known as oramedia, (Ogbridah 1985). And is the most effective and fastest means of communication within a community.

Traditional ways of solving conflicts is by identifying if this form of communication is used in the community, can it be effective in solving conflict? Base on this, this study became necessary.

1.2  Statement of the Problem

Communication is very vital to human existence, hence some scholars believe that it is synonymous with life. Traditional communication which is a form of communication makes use of signs and symbols. Despite the overwhelming importance of traditional communication in the society, many people are still not aware that traditional communication could be used in conflict resolution. Some are not aware of the role of traditional communication which can be used in solving conflict among people of the community. It has been observed that people of the Udung Uko Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State have often involved in one form of conflict or the other but how they have been resolved have become a mystery. It could be asked; to what extent is traditional communication effective in conflict resolution?

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The study has the following

  1. To ascertain the extent of usage of traditional forms of communication by residents of Udung Uko Local Government Area.
  2. To examine the role traditional communication in conflict resolution in Udung Uko.
  3. To determine the effectiveness of traditional communication in conflict resolution.
  4. To find out how people in Udung Uko respond to the use of traditional communication in conflict resolution.

1.4 Research Questions

This study has the following research question.

  1. To what extent is traditional communication used in UdungUko Local Government Area?
  2. What roles does traditional communication play in conflict resolution in UdungUko?
  1. To what extent is traditional communication be effective in conflict resolution in UdungUko?
  2. How do people in UdungUko respond to the use of traditional communication in conflict resolution in the community?

1.5 Scope of the Study

This work is on the effectiveness of traditional communication in conflict resolution, it studies the role of traditional communication in conflict resolution in the state with regardes to UdungUko and as such been limited to the traditional practices of the people.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study intended to serves as a reference tool for students who may which to carry out further investigation on this same topic. It also shall be of great importance to the inhabitants of UdungUko Local Government Area and other societies who wish to know the effectiveness of traditional communication in conflict resolution. It could also educate and provide information to those people in UdungUko Local Government Area who may not have enough knowledge of traditional communication and it extent in enhancing conflict resolution matters.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

The research was not without limitations. It was constrained by a number of factors ranging from class activities, research materials difficulties in data collection, as some respondents delayed in giving out the needed information.

Also the researcher encountered some financial problem which rampaged transportation.

However, to overcome these challenges that researchers went to various libraries outside the school and as well visited different scholars at their homes who provided relevant material that aided the work.

The researcher also made a good schedule by allotting time for school work, assignments, test and examinations and made out time for the researcher and ensured that nothing interfered with time.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Conflict: A situation in which people, groups or countries such as those in UdungUko are involved in a serious disagreement or argument.

Conflict Resolution: This is a way of solving any disagreement between people, organization and community for the exitent of peace to reign.

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