With history as a subject to be reintroduced into school curriculum next academic session, historians and scholars have again emphasised the importance of the subject to the socio-political and economic development of the country.
They said it would be difficult for Nigeria as a country to progress meaningfully in socio-economic and political life if history is not accorded its rightful place in schools and elsewhere.
A historian and professor emeritus, Ebiegberi Alagoa, and Professor Yakubu Aku, among others, made this declaration at the 2019 annual Nigerian National Merit Award (NNMA) winners’ lecture held at the University of Lagos, Akoka, last week.
Professor Alagoa was a lecturer at the event while Professor Aku chaired the occasion.
Delivering his lecture on ‘Nigeria in history: Lifting Burdens, Learning Lessons’, Professor Alagoa, an alumnus of UNILAG, said it was necessary for Nigerians to know and understand the facts of the country’s history across culture, politics, religion and economic diversities.
According to him, that is the way to learn the lessons of history and lift the burdens created that will consequently show a right and effective way to move forward as a country and as a people.
He noted that past Nigeria’s political leaders, especially from the second republic and the military rulers in particular, had imposed great burdens through misrule on Nigeria and its people, and that it is disheartening that the burdens are increasing by the day.
Professor Alagoa, however, urged all Nigerians, especially the political class, to use the consequences that civil war, injustice, deprivation, disunity, exploitation and other ills dogging the country over the years as great lessons learnt to make Nigeria more united, peaceful and prosperous.
Speaking earlier, chairman, Governing Board, NNMA, Professor Aku, said it was imperative that country like Nigeria take the understanding of history as veritable pathway to solve its myriads of socio-economic challenges.
He explained that the essence of the annual NNMA lecture series is to generate knowledge and innovations towards national growth and development
In his own remarks, the vice chancellor of UNILAG, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who was represented by the deputy vice chancellor (academics and research), Professor Oluwole Familoni, said history is interwoven with other fields of human endeavours, hence the importance of the subject to humanity.