Entries on History
Public Lecture Delivered on the Occasion of Festschrift Presented to Professor U.D. Anyanwu at Imo State University, Owerri
It is in recognition of the above challenge and as an attempt towards its resolution that the publication of Federalism in Historical Perspective by the Historical Society of Nigeria (HSN) represents a timely and appropriate intervention. The book examines the emergence, growth and development of federalism in Nigeria through time, and discusses its many dimensions, problems as well as implications on the development of the country and its peoples. While establishing the pre-colonial antecedence of federalism as a political arrangement in Nigeria, contributors to this important volume attempted to analyze changes, continuities and adjustments during the colonial period and since independence. Some of the challenges underpinning federalism in Nigeria, their roots, basis and manifestations, were also thoroughly examined. The thirteen essays in this volume were selected from papers presented at the 52nd Congress of the HSN hosted by the Department of History, University of Calabar.
This work examines why the Lower Benue Valley communities that were erstwhile at peace with themselves have now earned a reputation as an area noted for orgy of violence along the Settler-Indigene divide. In fact, the continuous struggle between groups of the zone has intensified with attendant consequences of group distrust, suspicion, antagonism and tension culminating in violent expressions. Thus, the Lower Benue area has been stigmatised as an area known for violence.
The assertion by some writers of African origin that African literature is an autonomous entity – separate and apart from all other literatures and therefore necessarily requiring its own literary traditions, models and norms, suggesting that its constituency is separate and radically different from that of European or other literatures, and this as rationale for an African poetics, is at best misleading. This is for the simple reason that literary critical criteria such as plot, setting, symbols, imagery, time and space, point of view and other aesthetic features on the one hand, and literary theoretical concepts such as Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, Structuralism, Semiotics, Feminism and other theories on the other hand, cannot be used in reference to any one geographical region of the world. In other words, these critical and theoretical concepts are universal. However, it is valid to refer to a European, American or African literature where the content of the region dominates a given literature. It is to this robust debate that Ferdinand Asoo contributes in The African Novel and the Realist Tradition by subjecting the theory of Realism to the African novel.
Sunday begins the quest for reasons behind James’ mysterious ways, he least expects the shocking revelation that James is the reincarnation of Anthony, who died leaving an unborn child and a mentally deranged wife. Therefore, the reality that stares in the face is quite overwhelming. Reincarnated is a beautifully written novella that explores the most puzzling side of human life. The story of Anthony and Joy is inspired by a passionate belief in the spiritual value of even the lowliest of human being.
A Wind of Change: Bekwarra in an Age of Globalization, sheds light on the Bekwarra, the attendant misconceptions about the people and processes that facilitated continuity and change in an age of globalization. The book discusses the different mythologies of origin and traditions of migrations associated with the Bekwarra people. It further examines how early Bekwarra ancestors slowly transitioned from mobile people to develop a sedentary and communalistic nature of agriculture and other economic activities to cope with nature and to make a living. The book further explicates the indigenous socio-cultural, political and religious practices among the Bekwarra people that provided a sense of community pride and created the fabric on which the society functioned. To come to terms with the transformative process that evolved over the years: the thrust of the discussion in this book dwells on pre colonial Bekwarra history before the evolutionary years which began with the advent of colonialism.
I am very honoured indeed to write a brief Forward to this noble account of a purposeful administration by a servant of God, Prof. Charity Ashimem Angya. This modest publication by a group of academics and close associates of the Vice Chancellor has chronicled the unprecedented achievements of the fourth and the first female Vice Chancellor of Benue State University, Makurdi. The book is the account by those who were involved in the administration of the Vice Chancellor from the very beginning of the administration in 2010 to date. The book captures the Christian perspective of public office, the Christian upbringing and family legacies, work ethics and achievements of Prof. Charity Angya. Concrete life testimonies from her family, colleges, brethren and students crown the story of this achiever and University administrator.
The prehistoric site of Ugwuele in Uturu of Abia State was discovered about three decades ago. The state of euphoria associated with this spectacular discovery fuelled a lot of research interest on the site at the initial stages. With the passage of time, however, the research interest could not be sustained, probably due to a number of seemingly difficult obstacles that needed to be crossed, to enable the original intertia to be regained. In this paper, therefore, we shall attempt to re-visit the site in order to appraise the progress of work by the Pioneer researchers and also suggest ways of mustering support for research to continue at the site in order to save it from the threats of destruction from other competing interests.
The use of science and technology for historical research is not new. As science in all its ramifications unfolds new ways of meeting challenges faced by humankind, its application literally transverses the plethora of activities that engage us as humans. In the last 50 years, major advances in the fields of biology and computer science has led to the emergence of a new sub-discipline often referred to as “Historical Genetics”. By using super computers with specially designed applications and advanced algorithms, researchers have been able to map, track and trace some aspects of the human genetic code. This development has significantly empowered historians and archaeologists to scientifically reinforce and authenticate some of their erstwhile assumptions and findings in their studies of inter-group relations, migrations and settlements. In this essay, I present an exposition of some of the current trends in historical genetics and achaeogenetics and show how they present an opportunity for researchers to revisit most of the current assumptions that we have today regarding several aspects of our cultural history in general and inter-group relationships in particular.
The main idea of philosophy plays a significant role in human reasoning. It changes the role of material circumstances in human activities, it invokes the notions of human agency and it depicts generally acceptable meaning of historian events. It ensures the willingness of full understanding of ourselves in the present by understanding the choices, the forces and circumstances that results to our present situation and it also ensures a possible learning from history; that is; the Past. These reflections can be amalgamated together into a body of work to ensure a philosophy of history. In ensuring the Plurality of voices within the philosophy of history; it is impossible to give one explanation of the field that fits all these approaches. We can sensibly think of philosopher’s writings concerning history as entailing metaphysics, historicism, epistemology and hermeneutics including several important questions: - Does History in general have structure, meaning, direction beyond the individual actions and events that makes it up? - To what degree is human history constitutive of the human represent? - What does history comprise of –social structures, regions, periods, individual actions, large casual processes, civilizations, divine intervention? - What is entailed in our representing, knowing and defining history?