1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The Tiv society has morally degenerated; this was observed in the character of some members of Tiv society in their pursuit of basic human needs, which are done to the detriment of self-actualization. The attitude of political leaders and traditional rulers revealed that they sought for these basic needs outside the socially approved bounds thereby triggering violence and destruction instead of ensuring peace and development. Development is based on the values and attitudes of a people, which in turn is derived from the choice of supreme beliefs and values that made their worldview achieve its core value orientations. The refusal of both political leaders and traditional rulers in Tiv land to apply justice in the art of governance for a sustainable peace and social development motivated the need to embark on this study.
There are several efforts by philosophers and non-philosophers around the globe to bring about development that can be sustainable in the nearest future. Some of the areas of interest include: developing the productive capacity of members to cope with ever changing environment for the well-being of the people, stabilizing and transforming human nature in order to provide the needs of members of society, and the ability to synthesize a cordial relationship between science, culture and development. It is with this kind of correlation that the researcher was stimulated to investigate the contributions of metaphysics towards making a difference in the quest to change the status quo of society from an under-developed to a well developed society in which the members will attain self-actualization without hindering the self-actualization of others.
1.2 THE STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Traditionally, Tiv society was highly integrated, yet communalistic in nature. There was serious respect for values in traditional Tiv society. In fact, such values were manifested in the lives of those who grew to positions of leadership. The traditional leader in Tivland was aware of the need to seek the consent of other members of the society before taking any decision that would affect the general members of the community. The spirit of togetherness was exhibited through communal digging of farm lands, planting of crops, weeding of farms, harvesting of produce etc. In fact, there was the spirit of brotherhood in almost everything that the Tiv person did in society. No one was hurt because he was walking to his friend’s house at night. Children were not considered to be children only to their biological parents. Every adult person was seen as a parent and respected as such. The Tiv society was at this time very peaceful. The family name was cherished, recognised and appreciated. Friendliness, love and trust were values that were highly cherished and celebrated.
But in recent times, the Tiv people have demonstrated by their words and actions that they lack unity. Everyone is thinking of what will benefit him or her. There is an increasing spirit of individualism among the Tiv people. There appears to be lack of the spirit of collectivity. The high level of individualism has manifested itself in the attitude of most political leaders in Tiv land. This degeneration of the value system in Tiv society has created poverty in the land. There are so many cases of communal clashes, backbiting, gossips, armed robbery, child abuse, cheating and killing of innocent people as political opponents. Consequently, the Tiv society has become an epitome of underdevelopment in all ramifications. There is a silent agitation for a better Tiv society, but it appears that no one knows what should be done to improve the human mind, the standard of life and living of the Tiv person in particular and the Tiv nation at large. This is reason point where this study is very necessary as it emphasises the relevance of values such as respect, responsibility, honesty in the minds of the Tiv to serve as parameters for holding leaders accountable in their respective offices.
1.3 THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The major objective of this study is to examine the relevance of metaphysics to development with a view to applying it to the Tiv people of North-Central Nigeria. The other specific objectives include: (i) examine the level of underdevelopment in Tiv land, (ii) examine the extent to which political leaders in Tiv land have contributed to underdevelopment of the area through egocentrism, and (iii) show that an increase in the inculcation of metaphysical values like justice, transparency, accountability, equality, etc., in the art of governance will ensure political stability.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study provides researchers with new strategies involving the growing relationship between metaphysics and development and how such strategies can benefit those who are dealing with issues of values in traditional societies. The study is an attempt at creating a social construct that would enhance the development of human consciousness and awareness. The theoretical framework that supports this study opens up possibilities for clearer analyses of the influence of a discipline like metaphysics on other disciplines like development, ethics, and politics. It also, provides a unique insight into studying the theories of development that can ensure an integral development of a person.
The findings of this study would assist policy makers to explore ways of empowering youths in traditional societies through enhanced education and wealth creation. The findings would also be a body of knowledge researchers would find relevant as a reference material in terms of improving on research in this field of studies.
The study is targeted at the realization of the self for the sake of reforming the individual as well as transforming the society. This is achieved by helping the Tiv people meet the challenges that the African value system in general and the Tiv cultural value system in particular face, as they lack the needed sparks to stimulate the waves of development in recent times.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on determining the place of value in traditional Tiv society. Metaphysics basically deals with values like respect, responsibility, acceptability, honesty etc. Understanding these values as reflected in Tiv metaphysics will hold members of the Tiv society accountable and motivate them towards effective development of their society. A comparative analysis of other nationalities is made in order to generate sufficient empirical data for the purpose of ascertaining concrete best practices.