PREMIUM Times books have launched a book titled ‘The Sokoto Caliphate,’ a Nigerian republication of a book on the history of pre-colonial Sokoto Caliphate.
The book was authored by Murray Last, a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology, University College London.
It was originally published in 1967 by Longmans, Green Co.
The book explored the history of the 19th century Sokoto Caliphate and the historical events surrounding the Jihad of Uthman Dan Fodio.
The Chair of the event, Ahmed Nuhu Bamali, who is the Emir of Zazzau spoke of the strength of the book as being its reliance on originally written Arabic texts, instead of secondary translations.
According to him, the book corrected the notion of the Jihad, ascribing it to Dan Fodio and not the Fulani.
The Editor-in-Chief, 21st Century and book reviewer, Mahmud Jega, said the book is a major contribution to Nigeria’s pre-colonial history from a credible academic source.
Panellists in the book launch deliberated on the relevance of the Sokoto Caliphate to contemporary Nigeria and from its historical examples, and highlighted solutions to the Nigetia’s problems.
In the panel discussion, Muhammaid Junaid, a professor and lecturer in the Department of Education, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto said the intellectual prowess of the 19th century Sokoto Caliphate was necessary for the country.
Junaid also said the Caliphates’ religious devotion was instrumental to ensure a just society and that it is something Nigeria needs in order to address corruption.
Jega who also spoke on the panel said there was a need to correctly teach history and prevent distortions that have a disastrous effect in the long run.
He said the ’90s’ news media’ portrayal of the Caliphate as a war-mongering, Fulani-dominating group had contributed to the bad way they are perceived.
He also said it was worrying that the same Caliphate that was reputed for her intellectualism is currently regarded as having a people backwards in education.
In response to this, Junaid said the reason for the backwardness was a historical sidelining of original Arabic education in favour of the Western-style since the British colonisers overthrew the 19th century Caliphate.
The Commissioner of Higher Education, Kebbi State, Mukhtar Umar Bunza, said that the 19th century Sokoto Caliphate had an exemplary political structure with checks and balances that present-day Nigeria could emulate.
Speaking from the United Kingdom, via Zoom, the author of the book, Murray Last said he hoped the book would go on to encourage the political will the inhabitants of the pre-colonial Sokoto Caliphate had in Nigerians and encouraged more researchers to expand the frontier of schlarship on Sokoto Caliphate.
Others in the event include the special guest of honour, Sunday Dare, the Honourable Minister of Youths and Sports Development and the book presenter, Nasiru Danu, the Chairman, Casiva Limited.