The Secretary to the Niger State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane has lauded the bold steps taken by the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammad Buhari for ensuring the restoration of History as a discilpline in schools.
He made the commendation while delivering his speech as a Special Guest of Honour at the 6th National Conference of Department of History and International Studies of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL)on the heme: “Politics and Governance in Africa – Twenty years of Democratic Rule in Nigeria (1999 – 2019)”, held at the Main Campus.
The Secretary to the State Government who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Office, Mallam Aliyu Isah Ekkan urged the scholars at the Conference to engage in intellectual discussions that would bring to the fore relevant historical events that will promote peaceful co-existence of diverse nationalities in the country and Niger State in particular.
He observed that by restoring History as a subject, the lost glory of the knowledge of our past and the preparation for the future has equally been restored, pointing out that for the past years that the subject was scrapped, the nation has lost her compass.
Declaring the Conference opened, the Chairman of the occasion who was a former Director in Niger State Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mallam Kudu Isah underscored the role of history in the development of any society the world over, stressing that any society that has no history, has certainly compromised its future.
Mallam Kudu applauded the efforts of History and International Studies Department of the University for contributing immensely towards the development of history in the country.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Muhammad Nasir Maiturare in his welcome address stressed the importance of history in helping to solve some teething societal challenges such as the ones that are currently threatening the peaceful co-existence among various ethnic inclinations in the country.
He congratulated the Department of History and International Studies of the University for taking the lead on trailing the blaze among other similar Institutions on fundamental historical issues in the country that would strengthen democratic process of Nigeria as a nation-state.
Professor Maiturare urged the participants of the conference to explore logically possible solutions to the prevailing security challenges in the country.
The Keynote Speaker, Professor Sule Mohammed of Department of History, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria emphasised on the need for Politicians to undermine godfatherism so that democracy could operate effectively and deliver its dividends to the electorates appropriately.
He explained that most social challenges that are being experienced in the country now were consequences of godfatherism.
The Scholar opined that there was the need for the country to adopt unicameral legislature and reduce the cost of governance so as to make resources more available for the Government to provide basic social and infrastructural facilities for citizenry.
The lead paper presenter, Professor Abdullahi Musa Ashafa who is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Kaduna State University explored the interesting and sad experiences of Nigeria since she returned to democratic practice of governance in 1999 to date.
He posited that although the country could be passing through most difficult times in her democratic experience, hope should not be lost as brighter future awaits the nation but cautioned the participants in the democratic process to operate according to the rules of the game for the benefit of all.
Equally, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Niger State, Professor Sam Egwu, in his paper, concluded that for democracy to achieve it’s desired objectives in Nigeria, there was the need for the country to return to electoral reform agenda, while the processes of appointing INEC chairmen and board members should be transparent, autonomous and rigorous.
He also suggested unbundling of INEC by taking some responsibilities off it.
Earlier, in their opening remarks, the Dean of Education and Arts and Head of Department, History and International Studies of the University, Dr Salahu Muhammad Lawal and Dr. Sheshi Sidi respectively, expressed satisfaction with the attendance by invited guests and participants of the conference.
They thanked the University Management for the support to the conference and assured continued maximum cooperation.
Highlight of the opening ceremony of the conference was a public presentation of the 8th edition of Lapai Democracy Series, titled: “Democracy in Nigeria – A Reader” by the Special Guest of Honour.
Dr. Mamman Saba Abdulkhadir who was the Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the Conference thanked all the invited guests for gracing the occasion and appreciated those that contributed in one way or other towards the success of the conference.