Ekiti state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on Monday revealed why the federal government returned the study of history into the secondary schools curriculum in the country.
He said it was aimed at building the nation and not with divisive tendencies.
Fayemi, who is the chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), disclosed this during an interview with journalists at an event organised in memory of an erudite historian, late Prof Jacob F. Ade Ajayi, held at International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
Speaking on the theme: “African History and Historiography: Illumining the Pathways and Understanding the Challenges,” Fayemi said: “We commend the current government for returning history to the curriculum.
“But it is not enough. What is the nature of history that is even being returned? It is a contested space and we have to ensure that those who are students today and scholars of history play actively in that contested space to define the character and content of our history, so that outsiders will not define it for us.
“History illumining the pathway. The most important role of history in any society is nation building. It is when you learn about your past that you can inform you present, and your future of the trajectory and how you fit into that entire world view.
“The lesson of history and the lesson of the Ade Ajayi’s era is that they confronted the circumstances of their era with creativity and innovation.
“The colonialists said Africa had no history. Ade Ajayi and his colleagues – the generation of scholars that emerged in the post world war era, said we have a history and we have had traditional political formations way before the colonialists came here.”