The Implication of the Practice of Afiye (Caste System) on Human Development Among the Yala Communities of Cross River State of Nigeria

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The practice of Afiye (Caste System) among the Yala communities of Cross River State of Nigeria, settled in Yala Ogoja, Yala Obubra, and Yala Ikom, is an age long practice, which no one today can precisely point to its exact origin. The practice of Afiye and the Ayiwoole (slaves and freeborn), without considering the grave consequences, here analysed as implication of the system. The implication involves the political implication which tends to hinder the political rights of members of this caste, through its social structure. There is also the implication on Human Right, whereby members of this caste are denied freedom of association and movement. There is also social discrimination, which has equally affected their social standing in their different communities, such that they cannot be Ochuole (Traditional Rulers) or be allowed to participate in traditional burial rites of the traditional ruler that is regarded as the father of all. The economic factor is not left out as dispute bothering on land matters are usually and often settled in the palace and since they are the unwelcome species of human beings in the palace, there are left with no other opportunity than to be disempowered. Of course, there is the strained relationship and conflicts between the Ayiwoole and the Afiye, what Ralph Darendorf called the dialectical conflict theory. This has led to under development, Anger, bitterness and uncooperative attitude and indeed suspicion and all manners of negative tendencies among the Yala communities. It is the submission of this paper therefore, that the practice of this caste with its antecedent implications be put to a stop in order to bring about a meaningful development to Yala land.
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Archival date: 2019-11-22
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