The Kwara state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq at the weekend, advocated the study of history as a key instrument to national development.
“If you don’t know or learn from your history, you will be walking in the dark struggling into the future. This is why (the study of) history is very key,” AbdulRazaq said when a delegation of the Historical Society of Nigeria visited him in Ilorin, the state capital.
“We all know the importance of history and how colonialism has tried to bury our history and subjugate it for their version of history.”
AbdulRazaq said the government would support initiatives that would promote the study and appreciation of history in the society because of its relevance to human capital development.
“I’m glad that we have people around (the HSN) to document our history and as we come along, we have to look into our own contemporary history because today everybody is a journalist on the internet. So, we need professionals like you to set the record straight and be guided in the right history of our politics and traditions in Africa and the world in general,” he said.
Accompanied by council members of the body, HSN President, Professor Okpeh Okpeh, commended AbdulRazaq for his clear commitment to education and for being the first governor to host the society as part of its campaign to reintroduce the study of history at all levels, including in the elementary schools.
The HSN delegation included Professor Yakubu Ochefu, Executive Secretary, Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigeria; Professor Samuel Aghalino, Vice-President, North Central; Dr Akachi Odoemena; Dr Patrick Ukase; Dr. Lemuel Odeh; Dr Bashir Animashaun, Vice-President South west; and Dr Abraham S. Ogunode.
Okpeh said the HSN came to seek Kwara’s adoption of history across its schools and its support for the body’s upcoming events commemorating the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence.
Okpeh said Abuja, owing to the advocacy of the HSN, has agreed to return history back to school curriculum but has delayed implementation.
Okpeh added: “Part of the reason why history was yanked off was that it was too complicated, too rigorous and we were asked if we could simplify it for pupils at primary and even secondary schools. So, the Historical Society took up the challenge and we have come up with books on the basis of revised syllabus.
“The federal government has delayed the official commencement of the distribution of the books. So, we are taking another strategy of linking up with progressive-minded state governors and Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has been identified as one of them. We are interacting with so many others but this is the first time the council is meeting with any state governor on this project.
“We want you to partner with the Historical Society of Nigeria to ensure that the books approved by the federal government for the first nine years of education are supplied to schools in Kwara state,” he said.