Socio-economic Linkages of the Ife-Ijesa Frontier Population in Southwestern Nigeria
This study has developed a methodology for determining the socio-economic linkages of frontier population. This is achieved by a study of the historical and current socio-economic linkages of the communities in the Ife-Ijesa frontier area of southwestern Nigeria. The historical linkages of the settlements in the frontier area were examined by a study of the origins of the founders of 94 randomly selected settlements in the area. The current socioeconomic linkages of 29 of these 9 settlements were then studied in detail with respect to movement patterns of people among the settlements for religious, educational and medical services as well as movements to rural markets and to urban centres for the purchase of building materials, new clothing, shoes, books and motor vehicle spare parts. The adjoining community to which the sampled frontier settlements were attached was determined through a systematic analysis of the aggregate of the historical, current socio-economic and other forms of deep rooted cultural factors like the pattern of town-house ownership by the frontier population. This method of analysis facilitates an objective grouping of frontier settlements and their territories with any of the adjoining communities to which they are strongly attached thereby providing an enduring solution to inter-community territorial disputes in a frontier region. The study shows that there is need to readjust the present administrative boundary between the Ife and Ijesa administrative units so as to ensure that each settlement is located into the community with which it is most strongly attached. Four of the 29 studied settlements are in this category. However, for the determination of a boundary between Ife and Ijesa communities which groups all settlements as suggested by this study, a survey involving all settlements in the frontier area would need to be carried out.