History, the Historian and Historical Society of Nigeria @ 60: The Journey so far and the road ahead

Emmanuel Osewe Akubor


Available evidence has shown that History is recognized all over the world as a source of enlightenment and development. This is because as a collective memory of a people, history attempts to bring to the fore the salient and significant part of events that occurred in the past, which could be utilized in building a people’s prosperous future. It is therefore not surprising that every human society, no matter the level of enlightenment and advancement, has placed optimum priority on the bequeathing of a "useable past" from generation to generation. This was the most probable reason behind the establishment of the Historical Society of Nigeria by a group of Historians some sixty years back and the insistency on the teaching of history in schools. However, this paper argues that years after the attainment of Independence, the story seems to be changing (negatively). Data obtained from primary and secondary sources were deployed to carry out the study with an analytical and narrative historical method. Findings indicate that the acclaimed role of history as the vanguard of Nigerian society has been crippled by some forces, actors, and factors, while the historian has been rendered almost irrelevant in society. This, the paper intends to interrogate. The paper thus concludes that if the much needed is not done by both the individual historians and the Historical Society of Nigeria, the road ahead may be bumpy and rough for history.




Nigeria, History, Development, Nation

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