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Why Nigerians Should Return To Study Of History – Falola

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Eye On Africa: Falola To Speak On Decolonizing African Knowledge
Prof. Toyin Falola

A renowned historian Prof. Toyin Falola has urged Nigerians to return to an active study of history in order to overcome their myriad individual and national crises.

Falola made the call as he decried the relegation of history while giving the Second Distinguished Lecture of the Department of History of the Lagos State University today Wednesday.

He said: “While history was material in the predominance of Nigerian nationalism during the colonial era, it is rather lacking in contemporary society. Until recently, the Nigerian government stopped the compulsory teaching of history in primary and secondary schools, making the subject optional for students. Few university students now study history because they choose to or find themselves in that situation. If Nigeria would rebuild its nationalism values to keep a tab on its developmental course, there would be a need for more investment in historical research and studying the subject from primary to tertiary education level as a necessity and not an option. If history has been important in inciting nationalists and nationalism has been material in the development of the country across all sectors, it is, therefore, important to go back to the drawing board and reintroduce history to Nigeria’s educational system from the beginning of every Nigerian educational journey to the end.”

In the lecture titled “History and the Nation”, Falola declared that a “nation is the reflection of its history. History connects the past, the present, and the future in one streak of the line through problems, solutions, changes, continuity, legenderies, and normalcy; therefore, it is core to the existence of a nation and important for its future.”

According to the famous Nigerian scholar based in the United States, history is the memory of the nation by which all sectors, through their specific past, navigate current processes and prepare for other impacts.

“As the memory of the nation, history is built from singular lines of memories and records of the activities of individuals and the collective memories of everyone, institutions, and processes that have occurred through time. These memories cut across the nation’s social, cultural, and systematised past, as well as the foundation for co-existence within a society and interaction with other societies”, he said.

READ ALSO: Falola Delivers Lagos Technical Education College’s Lecture, Gets First Technical University’s D.Sc

He noted that what “makes a nation is not only territorial distribution or the occupation of the spaces but also the historical properties and ties that bind the people together. Generational identification is passed down, which binds the social structures that constitute the nation.”

Thus, for Falola, if Nigeria will be involved in nation-building, “the people must understand their cultural activities in order to reclaim their African pride and strive according to their pace and orientation. The nation can only achieve this by circulating historical knowledge in its objective and authentic form. Even if the world cannot change from those periods, exposing contemporary Nigerian citizens to the past would help develop their minds and make them see the wisdom in the cultural attributes of the past. It would allow a sense of belonging to an origin and ways of life distinct from contemporary ones.”

According to Falola, Nigeria can look back at its past to find solutions to the contemporary problems plaguing it.

As he put it : “The essence of history transcends the study of the past alone; it includes the study of the past to understand the present and plan for the future. The nation’s memory helps to understand a present predicament while reflecting on past problems and working towards solutions. History helps to bring back past wisdom, understanding, techniques and methodology to help solve today’s puzzle and create hope for the future. It has always been said that there is almost no event that does not have a similitude to its past circumstances and that the past holds answers to many of the contemporary ponderings …History offers the nation an opportunity to look back at the beginning of the problems to understand the underlying reasons. History allows the nation to reapply past solutions to similar problems or develop them to fit into the contemporary nature of those problems. ”

 READ ALSO: Exposed: The Real Peter Obi

Falola added : “The history of every nation is in the details of every path it has taken and events that have occurred over the years. History holds the nation’s memory so that when time and generations make the citizens forget their origin and how far their nation has strived so hard, history brings back the toils of past generations. With the advent of globalisation and western civilisation that has caused aggressive cultural diffusion, history has remained the only factor that keeps the nation in check and the hope of allowing the people to find their identity once more.

“Nations cannot survive or stand without strong men, women, and institutions to chart the trajectories of their development and integrity. These individuals are those nationalists convinced to fight for a better situation in the country. To build motivations geared towards recreating committed individuals who would swear unflinching loyalty to their country despite the disappointments, history must be made an inciting force to realise this national ambition.

“One other important national process in national development is the duty of every nation and government to ensure that the country progresses and that national development is ensured in order to guarantee good quality of life and standard of living. Any country that cannot do this has undoubtedly failed its purpose. The current state of Nigeria has made us doubt the development of the country, and the future is unpredictable. However, knowledge of historical facts and events empowers individuals with the skills to make good decisions and build purposeful leadership.”

 

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ASUU Asks Court To Set Aside Industrial Court’s Judgement

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ASUU Asks Court To Set Aside Industrial Court's Judgement

University teachers in the country on Friday asked the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja to set aside the judgement of the National Industrial Court (NIC) that ordered them to call off their over seven-month-old strike.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in a 14-ground of appeal it lodged through its team of lawyers led by a frontline human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, equally applied for a stay of execution of the judgement.

The NIC had in a judgement that was delivered last Wednesday by Justice Polycarp Hamman, ordered the striking university lecturers to return to the classroom, pending the determination of a suit the Federal Government filed to query the legality of their strike.

READ ALSO: ASUU Strike: How Are Lecturers Surviving?

The interim injunction directing ASUU members to resume work, followed an application FG filed through its lawyer, Mr. James Igwe.

Justine Hamman held that the order was both in national interest and for the sake of undergraduates in the country that have been at home since February 14.

He held that the strike was detrimental to public university students that could not afford to attend private tertiary institutions.

“The balance of convenience tilts in favour of the applicant.
I hold that this application is meritorious and this application is granted”, Justice Hamman ruled.

 

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BREAKING: Gunmen Kidnap Over Three Policemen

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BREAKING:Gunmen Kidnap Over Three Policemen

Over three policemen have been kidnapped in broad daylight by some unknown gunmen in Ogun State.

It was learnt that the police officers were abducted on Thursday at Wasinmi, in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The cops were in the state from Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos State, for an investigation.

They were said to have been duly booked  at the police division in Wasinmi, before they left for their place of primary assignment.

It was learnt that the officers, led by Inspector Oladipo Olayemi, were captured on the road by their abductors, who accosted them at about 2:30 p.m.

READ ALSO: Three Policemen, Others Feared Killed As Gunmen Attack Ifeanyi Ubah’s Convoy

It was also learnt that the commercial driver, who conveyed the cops escaped by a whisker from the kidnappers.

It was further gathered that the Divisional Police Officer in Ewekoro had led his men in search for the missing policemen.

When contacted, the Ogun State Police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed that “people were kidnapped, but only one policeman is involved.“

Oyeyemi told our correspondent that the police were on the trail of the kidnappers, assuring that the victims would be rescued.

“We are on the trail of the kidnappers. Do you think we are going to keep quiet? We will get them and rescue the victims unhurt,” adding that men of the anti-kidnapping unit were on the trail of the kidnappers.

 

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BREAKING: How Atiku, Ayu, Ex-generals, Others Conspired Against Me – Wike

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BREAKING: How Atiku, Ayu, Ex-generals, Others Conspired Against Me - Wike

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has disclosed how former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, ex-army generals and the Chairman of the Peoples’Democratic Party ( PDP) Worked Against him.

Wike said that these people met on the night of the party’s presidential primary and special convention to prevent his emergence as the party’s presidential candidate.

Wike made the allegation on Friday while speaking during a live television interview in Port Harcourt, the State capital.

He said that the meetings were part of what led to the delay in the commencement of the convention on the day of the PDP presidential primary.

“A whole national chairman told some aspirants that if Wike won, he was going to resign. As Chairman of the convention, he allowed Aminu Tambuwal to speak a second time.

READ ALSO: PDP Crisis Deepens As Wike’s Camp Shuns Atiku Campaign, Insists On Ayu’s Removal

“And after everything, he (Ayu) went and hugged Tambuwal that he was the hero of the convention.

“Meetings upon meetings were going. Pressures were being mounted on people to step down.

“Even on the night of the convention meetings were going on. That is why we started our convention late.

“Some of the retired generals were involved. Some of the meetings were held in their houses. There is nothing they didn’t do for me to step down.

“Those who know me, know that I would have stopped the convention.

“But I said for peace to reign, let the convention go on. Now a candidate has emerged. And we need to win elections as a party. That is the ultimate, winning elections.

“But the right thing must be done. It was agreed and it has been the practice of the party that if the candidate comes from the North, the national chairman should come from the South.

“The candidate (Atiku) knows all these. He even said it to me when he came to my house in Abuja”, Wike recalled.

Wike and his camp have pulled out of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council over Ayu’s refusal to resign as PDP National Chairman.

The embattled governor earlier hinted that he would expose some rotten details in PDP.

 

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