The Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) is fast becoming the intellectual point for policy dissemination and intellectual awakening in Nigeria where the who’s who in Nigeria’s intelligentsia circle comes together to brainstorm on salient issues that bothers on the conditions for national development in Nigeria. The ISGPP is an independent organisation devoted to research and executive education in support of governance and policy work in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. It serves as an innovative platform for community engagement on issues of governance, democracy and development. It therefore seeks to address skills deficits and advance knowledge required for transforming public institutions through the rethinking of the governance space, as catalysts for getting government to work better than they currently do for inclusive development and democracy.
The ISGPP Book Readers’ Club is meant to sensitise the general public to critical issues about nation building and progress in Nigeria through the interrogation of the books written by Nigeria’s brightest and the best whose patriotism can be weighed through the framework of their ideas, ideals and recommendations about how to make Nigeria work. At the inaugural book reading event, the ISGPP invited Odia Ofeimun, the poet and public intellectual whose engagement with the Nigerian state is legendary in terms of radical ideas and arguments about how Nigeria can be great. Ofeimun read from and led the discussion around the book Taking Nigeria Seriously, a collection of his significant essays on the Nigerian predicament.
The second edition of the book reading event comes up tomorrow, 26 July, 2016 by 12 noon at the ISGPP office, 24 Awolowo Road, Bodija. This second edition promises to be even more exciting as the School has invited no other person than Matthew Hassan Kukah, the Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese in Sokoto. Bishop Kukah is definitely not a stranger to anyone familiar with civil activism in Nigeria. He is a fiery and indefatigable patriot whose love for Nigeria is not in doubt. And not surprisingly, he will be reading from his book, Witness to Justice: An Insider’s Account of Nigeria’s Truth Commission (2011). This book is a critical narrative of the Human Rights Violation Investigations Commission (otherwise known as the Oputa Panel) established by the Obasanjo administration to investigate the causes, nature and extent of human rights violations from 1966 to 1999. This is a serious book that brings together, in over 500 pages, history, politics and violence within the framework of Nigeria’s tormented development in a beautiful narrative that is bold and sincere.
Apart from having the author come live to speak to the cogent issues in the book, the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) has also invited a distinguished personalities and the entire public to the event. Among those expected include Professor Femi Osofisan, Dr Sepehen Lawani, Professor Bolanle Awe, Edmund Obilo, Professor Pai Obanya, Professor Akin Mabogunje, Mr Bankole Olayebi, Mr Lekan Sote, Professor Ayo Banjo, Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe, and so many others. The essence of the gathering around Fr. Kukah’s book is not only to tease out the arguments of the book, but to also see its significance within the larger problem of Nigeria’s national development.