The notion that the colonial entity administered as Ogoja Province represented a Nigerian form of “the frontier” persisted right through the period of British rule in Nigeria. In a late colonial geography, Ogoja and eastern Calabar are referred to as the “pioneer fringe.” Marginalized by the economic geography of colonialism, as a result of its relatively low population density, in contrast to much of southeastern Nigeria, and by virtue of its terrain, crossed by unforded rivers and characterized by heavy, clayey soils which restricted wet-season travel, it could still be characterized in the 1940s as a “traceless praierie [sic]” by one of its most seasoned European observers, and as “the Lost Province” in common colonial parlance. Scholarly exploration has done little to address this marginalization, a fact both pivotal in the administration and development of Ogoja Province and restrictive of our attempts to understand and describe these administrative processes. The dynamics of community, trade, and migration in Ogoja, and the systematic misunderstandings to which these dynamics were subject, both constitute historical processes which call for scrutiny, and help shape development and welfare projects undertaken in the later colonial period and in post-independence Nigeria. This study investigates the problematic interaction of ethnography and administration at the colonial margin, and the implications of this both for the historical study of Ogoja and its hinterland and for economic and social development planning in the area.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.
* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.
Usage data cannot currently be displayed