The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has commended Nigeria’s foremost investigative newspaper, PREMIUM TIMES, for undertaking book publishing and literature in addition to journalism.
The sports minister made this remark while delivering his speech as the special guest of honour at the public presentation of the new edition of “the Sokoto Caliphate book” launched by the Premium Times Books in Abuja.
“Let’s start by thanking Premium Times for blazing a trail in book publication and marrying journalism work with book writing and literature. Premium Times is helping to birth a new culture of book writing badly needed in our country,” the minister said.
The minister said PREMIUM TIMES publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, taught him the ropes of investigative journalism and how to conduct covert investigation, adding that above all, Mr Olorunyomi taught him courage.
First published by Longmans, Green Co in 1967, The Sokoto Caliphate is the product of groundbreaking research by Professor Denis Murray Last when he was a PhD student at the University of Ibadan.
It is a historical reminiscence of the 19th century Sokoto Caliphate, an empire that evolved out of the jihad led by Uthman dan Fodio, a 19th century charismatic Islamic cleric.
The Sokoto Caliphate has been through several editions since it was first published, including the 1977 print, and later electronic editions, by the New York-based Humanities Press. Throughout the 20th century, it remained one of the most quoted books and best-selling titles on the history of sub-Saharan Africa.
However, the new edition of the Sokoto Caliphate launched by Premium Times Books is in tandem with the principal mission of expanding the reading public in Nigeria, making essential books easily available to the reading public and to bring books about Nigeria published in Europe, America and elsewhere home to
In a similar manner, Nasiru Danu, Casiva limited chairman, applauded PREMIUM TIMES for being one of the most credible platforms Nigerians can source their news from amidst numerous purveyors of fake news.
“…While we are living in the era of fake news, PREMIUM TIMES newspaper is one of the most credible newspapers in Nigeria and Africa,” he said.
Mr Danu said he will purchase a copy of the book for the 36 states in Nigeria including the FCT so that every state will have a copy at least in their respective libraries.
He said he will also purchase copies of the book for all local government areas of his home state, Jigawa. He unveiled the book with N10 million.
Mr Dare said exhuming new facts of history around the sokoto caliphate enriches Nigerians’ collective understanding of our original traditional and political institutions.
“We now know for sure that the notion of Jihad as that of extreme violence devoid of good governance can be faulted,” the minister added.
The minister noted that the significance of the Caliphate cannot be over-emphasised as its tentacles extend beyond Nigeria, making up boundaries of the present-day Cameroun, Burkina-Faso, Niger and Nigeria.
For students of History or those passionate about learning about the political evolution in the North, or what heralded her Islamic renaissance, Mr Dare said: “the Sokoto Caliphate is your go-to literary piece, and it should occupy a pride of place in the libraries of tertiary institutions, across the country.”
In his remarks, Musikilu Mojeed, Chief Operating Officer, Premium Times Group, 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.”
He described the book as ” a classic” that 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,” Mr Mojeed said.
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