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Chapter One
1.1 Background of the Study 

In Tiv metaphysics, the universe though made up of countless individual beings or forces is unitary and whole. It comprises of two realms of being, the supernatural and the natural. The former is the invisible while the visible is the latter. The natural is a product of the supernatural and it is sustained by the supernatural. This causal relationship necessitates the inbroken connectivity in Tiv metaphysics between the supernatural and the natural realms. The supernatural realm in this context can be likened to the mother who cares for the well being of her child, the natural realm. In Ieren: An Introduction to Tiv Philosophy, Anshi Wang explained the universe as being “dichotomized into three parts; namely usha the ‘Beyond’ or ‘Above’, the tar ‘surface’ or ‘earth’ and the shin, makuv ‘below’ or ‘beneath the earth’. The usha is the abode of Aondo, the tar for man and other created things (both spiritual and temporal) while the mbakuv or shin is the abode of the physical body of the dead.”1 The usha and the ushin make the supernatural realm while the tar is the natural realm. God, Aondo, spirits of life, adzov and the Mbakuv, spirits of the dead, are spiritual entities or forces. Man, animate and inanimate beings and spirits of life, adzov, live on earth, tar. The spirits of life are invisible to the natural or carnal man but influence man either negatively or positively. However, as pointed out earlier, the supernatural controls the natural, Aondo, God and spirits both living above, in the earth and the ushin, below sustains and controls the activities of man. In fact, there is a necessary interaction among these forces, this does not imply the spirits interfere with human freedom. In his freedom, man is answerable and responsible for all his actions. God, Aondo, for the Tiv, is a Supreme Being and creator of the entire universe and all that are in it2. Though above, God has revealed his power and precepts to mankind through the spirits of life and mankind must live by these precepts to experience peace, harmony, progress and development in the earth. Failure of man to live according to God’s will as revealed by spirits of life, is failure to experience good health, peace, progress and development. This implies man must commune with spirits before he can tap from the other forces in nature and use them to sustain the ontological order for quality life and peaceful co-existence. This is done by the Tiv elders through the use of tsav. According to Iyo, “the possession of witchcraft was the most powerful means of discipline in the hands of the elders who needed this to sor tar, that is, to exercise authority and power in such a way that political, economic and mystical acivities of the people in a given tar ran smoothly.”3 It is in trying to enhance the ontological order for a more cohesive, stable and developmental society that the Tiv introduced the philosophy of ya na angbian. Literally, it means ‘eat and give your brother’. This connotes what Julius Nyerere confronts in his political system of Ujamaa, which basically revolved around the indigenous practice of African Brotherhood, family Assembly and being your brothers’ keeper.”4 This principle “demands fair and equitable distribution of social and political resources among the various segments of Tiv society.”5 At the same time, it is a “philosophy of fairness and altruism, equity and responsibility.”6 Today, with the coming of the colonialists and the imposition of capitalist system on the Tiv, the ethico-metaphysical setting of the pre-colonial Tiv society has being eroded by the forces of westernization. This has affected greatly the understanding and practice of the principle. The essence of introducing ya na angbian which had to do with the strengthening of unity7 and the holistic development of Tiv society is no longer totally captured in the modern conception of the principle. This is the motivation behind the evaluation of the modern conception of this Tiv philosophy of fairness and altruism, taking into cognizance, the ethico-metaphysical setting of the pre-colonial Tiv society as the basis from which the principle is applied in the socio-political arena today. Looking at its origin and conception, this study will establish in clear terms the true meaning of the principle, pointing out its misconception and shortcoomings.

Project detailsContents
Number of Pages78 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
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