“History helps us to learn about the past, understand the present and to predict the future…” These words that were often used by my then secondary school History teacher to emphasize the need for scholars and the society to study History; reverberated across my mind as I read Richard Bourne’s “Nigeria: a New History of a Turbulent Century”. The author chronologically tells the story of Nigeria from the time of her “invention” by the British colonial government in 1914; through her rocky moments in pursuit of freedom from the colonial masters, and the inglorious era of the generals; to the current times that she is laden with pain and disappointment especially with respect to her development and democratic practice. Such history as captured by the author is apt in describing the events of the Nigerian past, very relevant in understanding her current realities and will be key in the prediction or definition of the her future.
Furthermore, Richard Bourne’s concise but deep words reflected on topical issues like Politics and Business; Ethnicity and Religion; Oil, inequality and Poverty; and the issue of One Nigeria that has dominated the conversations and narratives within the Nigerian public space for almost a century. Coming from a former journalist and a renowned senior researcher like Richard Bourne, such reflections and indeed the entire story of Nigeria as captured in the book, can be labelled repertoires of objective narratives that should be engaged further by anyone who is interested in the story of Nigeria.
The Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) keys into this vision and has identified it as the book to be read at this month’s Book Reading Event. The event which is going to be chaired by Prof. Bolanle Awe (Retired Professor of History, University of Ibadan); will be bringing together authors, scholars, academics and lay readers who will actively participate and generate cogent ideas from Nigeria’s past and present which could be deployed into policy dialogues for the future. The Lead reviewer for the Book reading event is Prof. Olutayo Adesina (a renowned Professor of History, University of Ibadan) while the duo of Dr Sharon Omotosho (Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan) and Mr Ademola Adesola (Kings University), both scholars of international repute; will be acting as supporting reviewers and Mr Edmund Obilo, Director of Bilficom Media and one of the most intellectually engaging OAP in Nigeria will be speaking to the book as well.
With the stage set for a robust conversation, the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy is happy to welcome the public to this month’s book reading event. Details of the event are as follows:
Date: 28th September, 2017
Venue: ISGPP premises, No 24, Awolowo Road, Bodija, Ibadan. Oyo State, Nigeria
We hope that after the experience, the minds of our participants will be better broadened and strengthened towards the realisation of the Nigeria of our dreams.