Nigeria lacks sufficient discipleship in global history, says Asiwaju
Eminent scholars from the University of Ibadan (UI) History School have attributed the leadership problem in the country to poor priority given to history as a subject in the nation’s education curriculum over the years.
They spoke at Adeyemi College of Education (ACE), Ondo when the institution conferred Lifetime Achievement Platinum Awards on seven distinguished professors for creating a different perspective to modern African historiography.
The scholars include Professors Banji Akintoye, Jide Osuntokun and Anthony Asiwaju. Others are professors Obaro Ikime, Prof Dahiru Yahya, Olatunji Oloruntimehin and Tajudeen Gbadamosi.
However, they lauded the Federal Government for returning history to the school curriculum, saying “it will do a lot of good because the elimination in the first instance, has done so much harm to Nigeria educational system for the past 40 years.”“We are raising men and women without a sense of history. It is a disaster. We are having young Nigerians who have no sense of history.”
The noted that the past administration, scared of the implications, gave a directive that history should be given utmost importance in the school curriculum but to no avail.They however lauded the emergency efforts of the federal government collaboration with the Historical Society of Nigeria as well as the Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to meet the September 2018 target date.
According to them, “That is a new birth of the nation itself because it was built on the foundation of solid historical consciousness. “Ibadan History School is equal to the rebirth of African historical scholarship, which was the intellectual wing of the nationalist movement. So, we were founded on historical consciousness.
The decision to return history to schools is a marvelous one.”Prof. Asiwaju raised the alarm over the dearth of students and youths involved in comparative history, warning that it has unquantifiable negative implications for the nation. Asiwaju, who is renowned for his several unique works in comparative history as a pioneer, said the other name for comparative history is global or world history, saying it provides the basis to understand history properly.
“So, comparative perspective is extremely important. When you make this your methodological base, then that is specialisation; and that is what I have pioneered without sufficient discipleship in Nigeria.”The ACE Provost, Prof Olukoya Ogen said the basis for the award was to honour eminent pioneers of post-colonial Nigerian historiography who brought African history to limelight and changed wider misconceptions against it.
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