Nigeria’s History Study In Schools Is Essential To Development – Lawmaker

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The deputy majority leader of the Lagos state House of Assembly, Honourable Olumuyiwa Jimoh, is not happy that many Nigerians do not know the history of their country. This is unlike in America where, according to him, history is compulsory for school children.

Speaking in reaction to the death of foremost emeritus Professor Eskor Toyo, renowned Nigerian Economist and freedom fighter who got over 200 publications to his credit, Jimoh says it is unfortunate that the country’s many past leaders are either not known to the youths or are soon forgotten. The lawmaker spoke with Lucky Vincent in this interview.

Lawmaker urges Nigeria's history study


How would you describe late Professor Eskor Toyo?

Eskor Toyo was a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Calabar, he was the first Nigerian that got first class not the late Baba Omojola. It is unfortunate that we don’t celebrate our heroes while they are alive.

He was one of the people that fought for the independence of Nigeria, but some of them went back to academics after the independence, and nobody remembered them afterwards. He was one of our great intellectuals just like Professor Claude Ake.

He was among the first generation of fighters of independence. He had been sick for over three years, unfortunately he is dead. Of course, a lot of our members don’t know him. But I was privileged to know him because I got close to him as a member of the National Association of Nigerian Students. I was a member of a movement that he funded shortly after the Nigerian independence. The movement produced people like the governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, amongst others. My own opinion is that an average American celebrates their people, but it is not the same here in Nigeria.

Why is this so?

It is because our concept of education is different. There is pedagogy system of expressing education. An average American can tell you their history of their country. As I stand here, apart from my father, I don’t know his father not to talk of the father that gave birth to that one. It is too retrogressive to our development. Development is not limited to infrastructure.

How would you want Eskor Toyo to be remembered then?

He has contributed to the development of the country, my father was part of the struggle for Nigerian independence, but it is not on record that he was part of the movement. Somebody like Eskor Toyo has more than 200 publications to his credit. His account of the civil war is the only authentic account of the war. He made it clear that the discovery of oil in the Niger Delta led to the civil war of 1967 to 1970 in Nigeria. Immediately there was the discovery of oil, people started agitating that they wanted to control their resources. His is the only independent opinion about what is happening in the Niger Delta today.  He has so many books with ideas about development generally.

How do we retrace our steps as a nation based on what you have just said?

We should go back to the basics, problems are like plants, and they have roots. If you don’t go to the roots, you would not solve the problem. We need to incorporate geography and history to our curriculum in all our schools. I am not saying we cannot solve the problem. If we don’t leave Egypt, there is no way we can get to Jerusalem, so we must be ready to solve our problem.

The post Nigeria’s History Study In Schools Is Essential To Development – Lawmaker appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read on NAIJ.COM.

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