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  • Background to the Study
  • Statement of Research Problem
  • Aims and Objectives
  • Scope and Limitation
  • Significance of study
  • Research Methodology
  • Conceptual Framework
  • Literature Review


2.1 Geographical Location of Mbaise

2.2 Land and People of Mbaise

2.3 Socio-cultural activities of the People

2.4 socio-economic Activities

2.5 Socio-political Activities


3.1 Agents of Transformation and development in Mbaise

3.2 Economic Development and Transformation

3.3 Socio-cultural Transformation

3.4 Political Development and transformation

3.5 Social and Infrastructural Development

3.6 Effect of the Development and Transformation on Mbaise


4.1 Conclusion

4.2 Summary

4.3 Recommendation

4.4 Bibliography



The exclusivity of any historical work is to relate the past activities of man in relation with his environment over time. These activities in entirety would have resulted to the development and evolution of the man and his environment, thereby effecting transformations in the areas that have been developed.

Development as a term is holistic, it includes the evolution of everything that has and has no life. It is otherwise the act or process of growing, progressing or developing. Transformation an equal hand implies a major change in form, nature or function to change an outward form or appearance. Thus, the two terms go hand in hand in describing the history of a particular society and its people.

It should be noted that man and society had evolved over time which makes it necessary for societies to be studied. The present stage of a society can only be understood better if the past is well researched and documented. Development and transformation of mbaise town would be seen in the light of “historical process” given the fact that society evolves over time. Perhaps it was recognition of history as a process that made E. H Carr to conclude that history is the continuous relationship between the historian and his facts, an unending dialogue between the past and the present”.


Mbaise is from the Igbo speaking part of Nigeria. In fact what is today known in Igboland as ‘Igbo Izugbe’ (the general language spoken by the rest of the Igbo people) is said to have taken its root from people of the area from years of interaction with other Igbo groups in Owerri. The heartland theory of the Igbo culture area, according to some writers, places Mbaise at the centre of Igboland.It occupies what has been described by anthropologists as the core of the Igbo culture area and civilization.

Through the use of oral tradition, many traditions of origin now exist from one Igbo community to another. As shall be seen later in another chapter of this work, Mbaise people also have several traditions of origin, one of which claims that man may have originally been created in Mbaise and from there different people’s migrated to other regions to make their settlement.

The history of Mbaise starting from 1941 when it was founded showcases a story of people who had to resort to self-help when it was apparent that the dividend of governance was not forthcoming. By this period, the colonial administration held sway, although they ruled through the help of the Native Administration and later local government administrations. Up to the time this work covers, the expected development and transformation from the governments were taking too long in coming.A significance ofour period of study is that it coincides with the military era. Virtually all the civilian governments that had democratic potentials were sent packing by coups and counter-coups. This is why many scholars still argue that a ‘democratic dispensation’ never begun until the military finally handed over power to a civilian president in 1999.


The research topic Development and Transformation of mbaise town  is a pioneering work in the history of the area, as such some research questions have to be justified at the end of the research. The development and transformation of any society is dependent on some basic factors which when applied will make the society a developed. This research is geared towards accessing the development and transformation of mbaise, our area of study. However, in dealing with this research work, certain questions cannot be left unanswered, these include:

  1. What are the fundamental factors that influenced the development and transformation of Mbaise Area?
  2. How viable are these factors to the development of Mbaise over the years?
  3. Who were the initiators of these factors that influenced the development and Transformation of Mbaise?
  4. How prompt were the reactions of the people to the development and transformation programmes in Mbaise?
  5. What are the impacts of these development and transformation on Mbaise?


A study of this nature will enlighten us about the resilience of Mbaise people for change in a period characterized with national political instability, corruption, absence of rule of law and clamp down on freedom of speech. We will learn the parameters the people used to measure transformation. We shall also see the individual, group and state contributions to development and transformation.

The history of development and transformation of Mbaise in this period is foundational in that it will help us know where the people were before the millennium and what should be expected going in to that epochal period. It is also foundational in that it serves as template for further development of the area. By highlighting some of the problems that have impeded development and transformation, subsequent constituted authorities can ascertain the areas that require urgent attention and address them headlong.

Another objective of this study is to serve as a form of reference to students of history, research fellows, policy makers and members of the public. This study will shed light on the culture, economics, religion,social and political structures of Mbaise people. Indigenes of the town living outside the homeland can utilize the study in learning more the unique history of their people.

As a foundational study and reference, other people can build upon it to identify other grey areas in the history of Mbaise people. In other words, this is not a conclusion but a beginning.


Our period of study is very significant even though there isfew written evidence to adequately document the level of development and transformation that occurred in the period. 1976 was epochal in the lives of all Imolites which Mbaise people are a part of. It was the year the state came into existence and thus generating heightened public expectations in terms of development.

The period of study also saw a remarkable increase in political activities and associations which many Mbaise sons and daughters actively participated. In the light of this, the study will highlight the achievements of politicians from Mbaise during our period.

As earlier mentioned, this period was overshadowed by the military juntas that uprooted civilian rule at will.Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s government was ousted by the Buhari/Idiagbon coup of 1983 while the general election in 1993 which was won by Chief MKO Abiola from the NRC was annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida whose ambition to transform into a civilian president led to the widely unpopular decision. The shenanigans of the Military administrators ensured that in many parts of the country real development and transformation was stalled. The study thus examines how Mbaise town was able to sustain societal transformation during his period.


The scope of study refers to the range or extent an enquiry proposes to cover. 1976 can be described as a formative period in the development and transformation of Mbaise Town as it was the year Imo State was created. Although the state had to wait till 1979 during the second republic to usher in a civilian government, the period in between was used to lay the foundation of the state and to prepare the politicians who were to play major role in the government of the second republic. The study shall be limited to 1999 before the advent of what is now known as the ‘rule of democracy’ in Nigeria. This is to enable us thoroughly examine the contributions of the various military administrations that usurped power during the period.


There are different methods that we can adopt in any study to arrive at the answers we seek. The preferred choice for this work is the qualitative approach. The approach is necessary in view of the materials that will be utilized in this research which are mostly qualitative in outlook. Under the qualitative approach we shall consider some primary materials like interviews although much attention will be given to secondary materials like essays, articles, and reports that are relevant to the study.


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