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The Ibibio live in the Akwa-Ibom/Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria. They have inhabited this area of Africa for more than 1,000 years and possibly longer. According to their traditions, the Ibibio have always believed in the Ekpo society as one of the main institutions of state stability. Villages are ruled by a group of elders who are usually referred to as Ekpo Ndem Isong. They share the responsibilities of rulership with the heads of families who are usually the oldest members of those families. Whatever is decided by the Ekpo Ndem Isong is carried out as law by the Ekpo Society, whose members act as messengers of the Ikan, the ancestors.

Order is maintained by the impartiality of the Ekpo society. Because members of the ...

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