Renowned historian, Prof. Bolanle Awe; librarian, Prof. Bimpe Aboyade; political scientist, Prof. Bayo Okunade, several educationists, academics, public policy experts and other stakeholders will gather at the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP) tomorow for the reading of a book written on Nigeria by a Briton.
The book reading is a project of the ISGPP which is aimed at promoting public dialogue on issues of public policy which generate from books. The idea is also aimed at promoting reading among Nigerians, a cultured that is adjudged to be dying in the country.
The book, entitled: ‘Nigeria: a New History of a Turbulent Country,’ is written by Richard Bourne who is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Bourne was a journalist that was very active in the Commonwealth affairs since 1982.
He was education correspondent of the Guardian, assistant editor of New Society and deputy editor of the London Evening Standard.
Bourne got into Nigeria during his practice as a journalist in 1981. Since then, he bonded with the country and some citizens through which he acquired a deep knowledge of Nigeria and its history in addition to the knowledge garnered through his work at the institute of Commonwealth. He also worked on some other African countries.
In the 275-page book, the writer detailed Nigerian history in a well researched manner
from the colonial era to the present time. He chronicled major events that keep reshaping the future of the country and some of the perspectives responsible for them.
Bourne posited that attempts to create a single state to which all citizens can owe allegiance, and in which all may prosper, is an ongoing struggle.
Explaining his intention for the book, Bourne said he decided to “elucidate, as fairly and readable as possible, a story that began with a colonial merger and bring it up to date. Nation-building is a requisite everywhere, and it was particularly difficult in newly discovered ndependent states as the tide of European empires receded in the second half of the twentieth century. For Nigeria, an existential question about the unity of this diverse polity has never quite disappeared. My purpose in tracing this story is to see how this manufactured state has, on the contrary, managed to survive.”
The book will be reviewed by a team of historians and academics led by Prof. Olutayo Adesina of the Department of History, University of Ibadan, and will be discussed by other experts including the Executive Vice Chairman, ISGPP, Dr. Tunji Olaopa.