The launching of the book, The Sokoto Caliphate, authored by Murray Last and published by Premium Times Books, is holding in Abuja today.
The publication, a sequel to an edition first published 54 years ago by Longmans, Green Co, is the product of groundbreaking research by Professor Last when he was a PhD student at the University of Ibadan.
The book gives readers a historical dive into the 19th century Sokoto Caliphate, an empire borne out of the jihad led by the 19th century Islamic cleric, Uthman dan Fodio.
The empire, then referred to as the Fulani Empire by European invaders, extended from present-day Cameroon into Burkina Faso from east to west, and from Agadez to Ilorin from north to south. The invasion of the Europeans, especially the British and French, reduced this reach.
Today’s event will be chaired by the Emir of Zazzau, Ahmed Bamali, with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, being the special guest of honour and the Chairman of Casiva Limited, Nasiru Danu, unveiling the book.
The Editor-in-Chief of 21st Century Chronicle, Mahmud Jega, is the book reviewer as well as one of the panelists to discuss the topic “The relevance of the history of the Sokoto caliphate to present-day Nigeria.”
He is to be joined by two professors, Mukhtar Bunza, Kebbi State higher education commissioner and Mohammed Junaid of the Department of Education, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
The book presentation as well as the panel discussion will be moderated by a former Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Ohi Alegbe.
Premium Times is on standby live at the event to bring you the details of the book launch.
As of 9:50 a.m., some of the invited guests have arrived.
The Emir of Zazzau, Nuhu Bamalli, and his entourage; the chairman of Casiva Limited, Nasiru Danu; and a former FCT minister, Aliyu Modibu are among those that have arrived.
Mr Mojeed recalled how PREMIUM TIMES started in 2011, a project he said was started to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy.
He said the book, The Sokoto Caliphate, is a classic and also a historic story which was birthed after a meeting with Isa Sanusi of the Amnesty International Nigeria who introduced Premium Times Books to the book’s author, Murray Last.
He said Premium Times Books is looking to continue to publish classics that are disappearing. He urged the public to point out such to achieve this goal.
Mr Mojeed said :”We took on the challenge of producing the Nigerian edition of The Sokoto Caliphate because the book touches on some of the ongoing debates about Nigerian nationhood and constitutional review.”
In his remarks, the Emir of Zazzau, Mr Bamalli, said the Sokoto Caliphate explains the study of the Waziris.
Read Mr Mojeed’s full speech below:
Welcome Address: Public Presentation of The Sokoto Caliphate. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre. Abuja. November 23, 2021
- The Chairman of this Occasion, His Royal Highness the Emir of Zazzau
- Our Special Guest of Honour, the Minister of Youth & Sports
- Our Reviewer, Mahmud Jega
- Our panelists, Professors Junaid and Bunza. And the panel moderator, Mr Ohi Alegbe
- The author of this book, Prof Murray Last, who is with us Virtually today
- All special guests here present
- Ladies and Gentlemen
My name is Musikilu Mojeed, and it’s my privilege and great pleasure, on behalf of Premium Times Books, to welcome you here today.
We are delighted to have you with us to participate and share on this special occasion.
Thank you for coming. That many of you willingly set aside other engagements to be here serves as a reminder to us just how important our work and the book we are presenting today are.
We started the Premium Times newspaper in 2011 with the vision of strengthening Nigeria’s democracy and advancing the socio-economic well-being and rights of citizens.
We did understand back then that we have to keep citizens and friends of Nigeria well-informed so they can guard, and reap the benefits of democracy. Four years into our pursuit of that vision, we saw the need to provide other platforms for people to engage hence the addition of Premium Times (PT) Books to our corporate portfolio.
Premium Times Books has three principal 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.
Our very first book, Naija No Dey Carry Last by the late distinguished Professor Pius Adesanmi, satisfied the three mission items and set the tone for future books. May Prof Adesanmi’s soul continue to rest in perfect peace.
So far, each title we have published taps into critical national debates and brings fresh perspectives into subjects of nationwide concern. From Quranic Schools in Northern Nigeria – which focused on Almajirai problem – through the Boko Haram Trilogy to We are All Biafrans, Premium Times Books has not shied away from the heavy-hitting topics dominating national conversation.
Each title in The Boko Haram Trilogy – Sects & Social Disorder, Creed & Grievance and Overcoming Boko Haram – has been individually, and respectively, praised for providing a unique insight into Muslim-Muslim conflict, Muslim-Christian conflict and the cross-border dimension to the insurgency in northern Nigeria. Together, they are renowned for their magisterial dissection of the sectarian religious crises in Nigeria on account of which they are widely recommended for policymakers and other change agents.
We took on the challenge of producing the Nigerian edition of The Sokoto Caliphate because the book touches on some of the ongoing debates about Nigerian nationhood and constitutional review. I like to thank Isa Sanusi, the Media Manager at Amnesty International Nigeria, who introduced us to Prof Murray Last. It is that simple introduction that culminated in the event we are holding today.
The book is a classic. It sheds some light on the roots of colonial policy decisions that continue to affect our society today. There is no better time to relook and rethink those policies than the present.
At Premium Times Books, we look forward to continuing to publish books that will deepen knowledge about important aspects of our lives. We are interested in getting a number of disappearing classics back to libraries and bookshelves across our country and beyond. If you have any suggestions for us, be kind to get in touch.
Once again, I welcome you all to this event.
Mr Bamalli said the book explained the significance of the Jihad movement and all those who played critical roles in the movement.
The event’s special guest of honour, the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has been invited to the podium to give his remarks.
Mr Dare praised PREMIUM TIMES for setting up the event and publishing The Sokoto Caliphate as well as inviting him.
He said the publisher of the newspaper, Dapo Olorunyomi, taught him the ropes of investigative journalism and to conduct covert investigation. He said Mr Olorunyomi above all taught him courage.
Mr Dare said the significance of the Sokoto Caliphate cannot be overemphasised, as its significance cuts across the globe.
Mr Dare noted that it will be impossible to grasp the strength and the depth of the Sokoto Caliphate.
The sports minister said the Sokoto Caliphate is a must read literature that should occupy libraries across the country.
He described the book as a “must literature” which must be on every library shelf as it is a classic. He praised the author, Murray Last, for the book. He concluded by also praising Premium Times Books for publishing the book.
The book reviewer, Mahmud Jega, is giving the review of the book. He downplayed his being chosen as the book reviewer.
Mr Jega said PREMIUM TIMES Books has made a major contribution towards understanding the full accounts of the Sokoto Caliphate.
Mr Jega said the Sokoto Caliphate had been wrongly seen as an evil construct that subjugated other people. He praised Premium Times Books for its publication of the book to put history in the right perspective.
He said the author spent a year in Sokoto, learnt Arabic and aajemi (transliteration of Arabic), read letters, manuscripts and pamphlets in the process of writing the book.
Mr Jega said the Sokoto Caliphate, more than 200 years ago, was highly literate, noting that the author of the book, Mr Last, subjected himself to understanding Arabic and existing cultures of the caliphate in order to perfectly capture the history of the people.
Mr Last, he said, travelled across the breadth of the stretch of the Caliphate, including visiting sites and libraries including the Bibliothèque Nationale De France which houses a large trove of the empire’s manuscripts stolen from Senegal.
The author of the book, Murray Last, is being asked to join the event via zoom.
Meantime, a panel is to discuss the topic, “The relevance of the history of the Sokoto caliphate to present-day Nigeria.”
Also invited to the podium is Professor Mohammed Junaid of the Department of Education, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. He has served in various capacities in both public and private sectors.
His works span several countries including Gambia, Senegal, Mozambique, Ghana and several parts of Europe. He is the younger brother of the Waziri of Sokoto, the family the author of the book, The Sokoto Caliphate, met during his research on the book.
The third panelist is Mahmud Jega, the reviewer of the book, who is also the Editor-in-Chief of the 21st Century Chronicle. He is a veteran journalist and a former lecturer at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
The panel session is about to kick start with the moderator, Ohi Alegbe, leading the session. He started by asking Professor Bunza to give a brief overview about the Sokoto Caliphate.
Mr Bunza, one of the discussants, said Nigeria will not have a complete account of history if the Sokoto Caliphate history is not properly captured.
Mr Bunza said the Sokoto Caliphate was not an organic movement. Rather, it was one borne out of coincidence after the people organised themselves to stand against oppression.
“We have much to learn in the history of the Sokoto Caliphate,” he said.
He said this was a pointer to the younger generation that in the face of maladministration, they can also stand tall and demand change.
Mr Bunza, a professor of Social History, said the history of the Sokoto Caliphate can serve as a template to spur good governance.
Mr Junaid said the Sokoto Caliphate was more of an educational system that sought justice and a pristine Islamic society that works for all.
Professor Murray Last, who is the author of the book is delivering his remark
Professor Muhammaid Junaid contributing to the topic being discussed
Mr Junaid said there is a total relegation of the caliphate, and that unless we do to history what we did to education, we will continue to live in “conundrum”.
Mr Bunza said the caliphate has one of the most robust gender sensitive cultures.
PREMIUM TIMES Books unveils new edition of the Sokoto Caliphate book .
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