How Colonial Rule Demeaned the Powers of Traditional Rulers
The colonial period witnessed a gradual reduction in the powers and influence of traditional rulers.
(i) Inclusion of traditional rulers in colonial administration turned them into stogies/appendages of the colonial government. Their inclusion in the colonial administration broke down the existing link between the traditional rulers and their people. They were turned into mere intermediaries. This eroded their real powers.
(ii) Introduction of modern work with monthly remuneration (Salary/wages) granted economic power to the people.
(iii) Breakdown of traditional norms and values due to the impact of Western education made people question the powers of traditional rulers.
(iv) The influence of foreign religion reduced the powers of the traditional rulers as the spiritual and religious leaders of the people.
(v) The law courts established by the colonial administration eroded the traditional rulers’ judicial powers.
(vi) The colonialists appointed and deposed traditional rulers at will with little or no regard for the tradition of the people. This reduced the prestige of the traditional rulers.
(vii) Establishment of Public Treasury removed taxation powers from the traditional rulers.
(viii) Stoppage of inter-tribal wars deprived traditional rulers of one of the avenues of amassing wealth. They usually acquired land, slaves, and wealth from war booties.
(ix) Forced Labour and Conscription by the colonial administration reduced the powers of traditional rulers.
(x) Establishment of legislative councils eroded traditional rulers’ law-making powers.
(xi) Establishment of a Police Force by the colonial administration reduced the powers of traditional rulers.
(xii) Emergence of Political parties after the second world war also contributed to the demeaning powers of traditional rulers.