Why we are publishing book on Nigeria@60
By John Eche
Coordinator of the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy, AFRICMIL, Dr Chido Onumah has explained why his organisation is publishing a book on Nigeria@60.
According to him, the project which is being undertaken alongside partners like the Government of Ekiti State, Premium Times Books, Yiaga Africa, Sahara Reporters, Oak TV, CDD, Enough is Enough, Nigeria, and TechHerm is driven by the need to stir a new generation of citizens that would help reposition the nation, going forward.
The book of essays which has been organised to mark Nigeria’s diamond jubilee, is titled, Remaking Nigeria: Sixty Years, Sixty Voices, and has a foreword on “Federalism in Nigeria,” by Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, even as it is edited by Dr Chido Onumah, Coordinator of AFRICMIL.
The statement from AFRICMIL announcing the project affirmed:
“On October 1, 2020, Nigeria will celebrate her 60th year of political independence. After sixty years of independence, most Nigerians, particularly the youth, hold the view that the country has failed to work for them in a way that is satisfactory and enduring.”
“The aim of the book is to give voice to young Nigerians, the critical change agents, to help the country understand and sharpen its focus on those issues that hold the key to its collective survival.”
“Clearly, the new decade will be a defining moment for Nigeria. Sixty years after independence, fifty years after a civil war, and at the beginning of a new decade, it is important that a new generation of citizens is challenged to reposition the country.”
“From interaction with young people and discussions on social media, there appears to be an information and knowledge gap among young people about the history and socio-political evolution of Nigeria. Beyond the lack of understanding of history, there is also a dearth of ideas on what needs to be done and how to get Nigeria out of its current situation. The book and the activities around it are supposed to address these problems.”
The statement also disclosed that contributors to the book are young Nigerians with fresh ideas on nationhood, democracy, and development even as the book focuses on issues such as federalism, elections and democracy, constitutionalism, environmental justice, data and ICT, the economy and social inclusion and media and press freedom.
The range of themes covered in the book also goes on to encapsulate youth engagement, law and human rights, education and social services, religion and multiculturalism, leadership challenge and good governance, corruption and accountability, foreign policy and regional cooperation.
Contributors consist of academics, politicians, journalists, writers, youth activists and organisers, gender activists, human rights and civil society activists, etc., and they respectively focus on the many challenges confronting Nigeria from their experience, research, and advocacy.
The publication which is supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and Ford Foundation is set for launch later in the month of October, 2020.
Dr Chido Onumah, Coordinator, AFRICMIL