PREMIUM TIMES, under its subsidiary, PT Books, is today unveiling two of its publications.
The first, Sects & Social Disorder is edited by Abdul Raufu Mustapha and second, Creed & Grievance, edited by Abdul Raufu Mustapha and David Ehrhardt.
At the unveiling, holding at the Shehu Yar’ adua Centre, Hannah Hoechner, author of Quranic Schools in Northern Nigeria will also be presenting her book to the Nigerian audience for the first time.
The unveiling will kick off by 10 a.m., a statement by the organisers say.
According to the statement, the two books explore the subject matter of religious polarisation and its various learnings, a subject that has
bedevilled Nigeria and the root cause of many violent conflicts in the country, attempting to shed light on its origins and evolvement.
“Sects & Social Disorder highlights the under-reported yet crucial issue of intra-Muslim pluralism and conflict in Nigeria, divisions within the Muslim community that predates the polarization between Muslims and Christians; and revolves around issues of beliefs, rituals and sectarian allegiance.
“Creed & Grievance explores the high levels of ethnic diversity in northern Nigeria and its coupling with acute polarization between Muslims and Christians thus increasingly fuelling violent conflict,” the statement notes.
Follow the live updates of the unveiling on here.
The event kicked off by 10.15a.m.
PREMIUM TIMES Editor-in-chief, Musikilu Mojeed in his opening remark thanked the audience for honouring the invitation.
He said the choice of publishing the books was borne not for financial gains, but for advancement of the society.
“The choice of publishing the books was informed out of deep interest in the subject matter, ” he said.
Now on stage is Omolara Wood, a journalist and literary editor speaking on ‘book publishing in the 21st century.’
She traced the beginning of publishing in Nigeria to pre-colonial era through the works of D.O Fagunwa, Amos Tutuola and others.
She traced the decline in publishing and reading to the 80s. “The Nigerian publishing atmosphere was still healthy until the 80s,” she noted.
Ms Wood noted that the Nigerian publishing sector needs more endeavours.
“Where we are today is that to a large extent, a lot of publishing in Nigeria are still for text books.”
She noted that many of the works forthcoming are reserved for the big publishers who often do not publish literary works.
This development, she noted, is short-changing the new publisher’s who are not covered by government subventions.
Welcome Address by Musikilu Mojeed, Chief Operating Officer, Premium Times, at the presentation of Sects and Social Disorder, Creeds and Grievances and Qur’anic Schools in Northern Nigeria held at Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja on Wednesday, August 15, 2018
On behalf of Premium Times and Premium Times Books, the publishing arm of our business, I would like to thank and appreciate all of your for sparing time to honour you with your presence at this event. Your presence here shows not only a mark of honour and friendship but also is a pointer to the values we all share. This is an unusual book launch. People are used to glamorous events of presenting books about politicians or such other personalities. Choosing therefore to attend this modest event, I can say, is totally out of the shared interest in issues that matter.
For us at Premium Times Books, the choice to publish Creeds and Grievances as well as Sects and Social Order was informed out of deep interest in the subject matter and all so to honour Professor Abdul Raufu Mustapha, who was a very important resource persons for us and one whose body of work is of immense benefit to humanity. It is similar reason that informs our invitation to Ms Hannah Hoechner and to present her important book to Nigerian audience, for the first time.
In promoting these books, our motive is not the money, important as it is. Rather, we are motivated by our larger interest of helping our country answer important questions and our fancy for data and documentation as critical tools to advance knowledge.
As some of you are aware, Premium Times Books is not entirely a new initiative. A few years ago, the imprint was unveiled with the publication of Naija No Dey Carry Last, a collection of essays by Pius Adesanmi. We are in the process of reprinting the book, as it was well received when it was first published.
In the coming years, PREMIUM TIMES intends to deepen this culture of intellectualising the public space, through publishing and promoting important literature that can help us steer our country into the path of development and progress. We plan to have a number of critical titles as well as books of essays under this imprint.
While hoping that these books will serve the intended purpose of pushing the frontiers of knowledge and advancing public policy on these areas, I once again sincerely thank you for finding time to be with us. I wish you all fruitful and rewarding engagement.
Speaking on ‘the Nigerian bookshop and it’s customers,’ Mr Daudu Abubakar, Manager Book Sellers limited, listed the challenges facing bookshops in Nigeria.
“You present a book and on the day of presentation, only few copies will be made available. By the time you rush to the bookshop to purchase, you’ll be dissapointed the books are not there. Where do we go from there?
The development he said has increased piracy.
He also said that the economic situation of the country accounts for the decline in bookshop patronage.
He also mentioned the challenge of time and power supply as robbing off readers the little time they might have used in reading.
He added that the online shops, which has sprung up in the publishing world, is a bane to the bookshop sales.
Mr Abubakar said the physical bookshops are trying to catch up with the new trend.
For him, the fact that libraries no longer patronise bookshops is a big problem at well.
PREMIUM TIMES Publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, said the initiative to publish the two books was brought about by the reality in journalism.
“When Premium Times started, we wanted to do something different. We wanted to do quality journalism with ethics. ”
The challenge to this came first in terms of finance. To surmount this, he said that the company decided to set up innovative platforms, which publishing is inclusive.
“publishing the books is an attempt to engage in cultural narrative in the county,” he said.
He lauded the Mc Arthur Foundation for their support.
Prof. Kate Meugher lauded the editor of the books, Abdul Raufu Mustapha in his legacies.
She said the scholar has produced ‘dozens of Ph.D students’ with his efforts.
She highlighted some of his works which has generated positive impacts in the country.
She said, “Raufu has a lot of faith in Nigeria, he wants this books to change the narrative without turning eyes to the problems.”
The Vice Chancellor of Modibbo Adama University, Prof. Kyari Muhammed is currently reviewing the first book ‘Sects and social disorder.’
He described social disorder as the ‘major disease bedevilling the country.’ This, he said, accounts for killings across the country.
He identified key issues the book address in a chapter by chapter review.
“The book is basically about fragmentation within Islam in northern Nigeria. The book argues that what is today social disorder is grounded in the history of northern Nigeria.
“There is nothing in the curriculum of almajiris that sets them for terrorism. The problem with almajiris is not what they are thought but the marginalisation they are subjected to.”
Bishop Matthew Kukah in his review of Creed and Grievance harped in the need to understand the northern terrain.
He said, “our inability to understand northern Nigeria accounts for most of the crisis we are still facing in this country.
“The materials in the book breaks New frontiers and requires we become more courageous in tackling issues in our country.”
Hannah Hoechner, author of Quranic Schools in Northern Nigeria is currently presenting her book to the Nigerian audience for the first time.
The motivation to conduct her research and write is to make the perspective and experience of children in Quranic schools past of discourse.
She set out to:
1. Re-examine accusations against almajiris as grey are convenient scape goats
2 to re-examine relationship between youth and poverty.
Aliyu Dahiru, a researcher in country violence and extremism presented Hannah’s book to the audience.
I’m his tribute to Mr Raufu, the President of the Nigeria Bar Association, A.B Mahmoud described him as a unifying figure.
He traced their relationship to the 70s and a robust relationship between their families.
He said Mr Raufu’s ‘sharp intellect and understanding has, in many times, put discussions in right perspective.’
Hauwa Mahmoud broke in tears reading an already-prepared tribute, for her dad’s friend.
On his part, the first executive chairman of EFCC and a former presidential aspirant, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu said Mr Raufu is always honest to whatever he believes in.
“The northern Nigeria, Niger Republic and Chad are the most backward in the world in terms of all indices” – Nuhu Ribadu
In the whole world, the only people who don’t have an address are the Fulani herdsmen – Nuhu Ribadu
Mrs Ladi Olorunyomi in her closing remarks thanked the audience for their time.
She noted that their are many books about Nigeria outside Nigeria.
She urged all to continue to carry on with the Raufu’s legacy.