The Role of Traditional Rulers in Community Development in Nigeria: A Theoretical Discourse


Noah L. Abanyam,

Department of Sociology

Taraba State University, Jalingo

Taraba State, Nigeria



Syvanus Otikwu

Department of Sociology

Federal University Gashua

Yobe State +234(0)8066230127



 This study investigated the Role of Traditional Rulers in Community Development in Nigeria Functionalists and Marxist conflict theoretical perspectives were considered in analyzing the study. The study found that despite some challenges, traditional rulers played important roles in their community’s development by helping to create organizations that can tackle their needs and represent their interest. They provide safe environment within their domain to enable members of the community to participate in decisions that affect their lives and they also embark on awareness or campaigns or sensitization of their community’s populace on diseases like HIV/AIDS. It was recommended that communities should cooperate and support their traditional rulers to enable them embark on development oriented projects and that the entire members of the community should be sensitized on the need to respond to mass participation and mobilization to self-help development projects of the community. Moreover, the resources realized in development projects of the community should be utilized in a transparent and accountable way that all members of the community would benefit from it. It was concluded from the study that local or indigenous institutions should be strengthened so as to enable them to effectively mobilize members of the communities to participate in their community projects and that members of communities should join hands with their traditional rulers, government and other related development partners in meeting the basic needs of their communities.


Key words: Traditional Rulers, Community Development, Theoretical Discourse, Mass Mobilization, Participation

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