Nigerians can draw great lessons from how the Sokoto caliphate spread across West Africa and survived for a 100 years, the Editor-in-Chief of PREMIUM TIMES, Musikilu Mojeed, has said.
Mr Mojeed said this on Monday in Sokoto during the presentation by PREMIUM TIMES Books of The Sokoto Caliphate, a book authored by Murray Last.
The book was presented to the public by the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad, at the International Conference Centre, Kasarawa, Sokoto.
The presentation was part of events commemorating the 15th anniversary of the installation of Mr Sa’ad as Sultan of Sokoto.
“Except for the title, it was the sum of Mr Last’s 1964 PhD thesis, word for word. It was the first PhD thesis approved by the University of Ibadan,” Mr Mojeed had said in a statement ahead of the event.
“The book is the only West African edition and has been printed for circulation by Premium Times Books,” he said.
At the event, Mr Mojeed said, “As Nigerians, we have not used the legacy of the Fulani Empire or Sokoto Caliphate to our advantage.
“It is in our interest to study how so many emirates spread across such a large federation survived for a hundred years.
“Yet, its legacy in Nigeria reverberates through present-day debates about constitutional reform, restructuring and regional autonomy,” Mr Mojeed said.
Read below the full text of Mr Mojeed’s speech at the event
Once again we thank Your Eminence (the Sultan) and Your Excellency (the governor) for the opportunity to present The Sokoto Caliphate on this glorious occasion.
Premium Times Books was founded in 2015 with three key missions, namely, to expand the reading public in Nigeria, to make essential books easily available to the reading public and to bring books about Nigeria published in Europe, America and elsewhere home to Nigeria.
Publishing The Sokoto Caliphate satisfies all three missions. I will elaborate on each of these beginning with the third mission.
The Sokoto Caliphate was first published by Longmans, Green and Company in the United Kingdom in 1967. It was published in the United States of America in 1977.
Several editions were produced in the first forty years of the book’s life, both as electronic and print books, by publishers based in London and New York.
During those years, the book was celebrated around the world as the most authentic historical record of the jurisdiction known to European explorers as the Fulani Empire or the Sokoto Caliphate.
But no publisher in Nigeria or Africa stepped up to publish the book, not even University of Ibadan Press, the publishing arm of the institution that awarded Prof Murray Last a PhD for his work on the book. In 2009.
A Hausa edition was produced by the Centre for Hausa Studies at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University here in Sokoto. Laudable as that effort was, it did not satisfy the need for an edition of the book that all Nigerians can relate to. Today, fifty-four years after it was first published in London, we are bringing it home.
In late 2019, Premium Times Books began discussions with Professor Murray Last about publishing the Nigerian edition of The Sokoto Caliphate which he graciously agreed to.
Today, we are happy to present the all-Nigerian edition of The Sokoto Caliphate.
The Sokoto Caliphate is, and will always be, one of the most important books ever written about Nigeria, the obvious reason being the subject of the book.
It is almost impossible to exaggerate the significance and achievements of the Fulani Empire or Sokoto Caliphate as a jurisdiction in the 19th century.
Geographically, it was the largest state in Africa. At its height, the Caliphate stretched 1,500 kilometres from Djerem, Faro and Deo, Mayo Banyo, Vina, and Touboro – all in present-day Cameroon, through Northern Nigeria, Benin Republic, Togo all the way to Dori in present day Burkina Faso. Back then, it took four months to travel east-west across the Caliphate.
The North-South boundary stretched from Agadez in present day Niger Republic to Ilorin in Nigeria. It was a confederation of some thirty emirates, conceived, established and ruled by Africans without any input from Europeans or Arabs even though their leaders spoke and wrote Arabic.
Many European, including Heinrich Barth, Hugh Clapperton and many Royal Niger Company merchants, mercenaries and administrators, visited the Caliphate to see this African success story.
As Nigerians, we have not used the legacy of the Fulani Empire or Sokoto Caliphate to our advantage. It is in our interest to study how so many emirates spread across such a large federation survived for a hundred years. Yet, its legacy in Nigeria reverberates through present-day debates about constitutional reform, restructuring and regional autonomy.
What lessons can we learn from it and which of its traditions can our modern states adopt and build on? We at Premium Times Books think the book, The Sokoto Caliphate, is, at the very least, a great resource material for ongoing debates about Nigeria.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...