The Significance of History Education as Catalyst for Greater Integration in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. In this article, we attempt to demonstrate how enormously significant history is as the mother of all disciplines in life.
Experts believe that there is no aspect of human life on earth that is not driven by its fundamental past as defined by history.
This is why the definition of history by British philosopher Edward Hallet Carr as ‘a continues process of interaction and an unending dialog between the present and the past with the historian at the heart of this interaction,’ is considered very incisive.
Unfortunately the continues relegation of this sailing aspect of human existence in the background has led to the deteriorating values in inter group relations among Nigerians.
This is simply because peoples and societies across the country are regrettably losing touch with their past.
More often than not it is common to hear people say ‘history has repeated itself’ or ‘history is about to repeat itself’. Some even warn that care must be taken so that history should not repeat itself.
It can be argued that a number of the myriad of criminals and some sectorial crises of different dimensions in the country are partly traceable to the poor understanding or the total absence of the knowledge of history.
This is why it is imperative for the discipline of history to be given her pride of place not only in the education sector but also among community people so as to create moral awareness of the past for better communal understanding and cooperation.
It is not out of nothing that people of preceding generations have lived peacefully with one another and interacted more meaningfully to bequest a harmonious society of the immediate past.
Today, such humane source of eventful historical tides which largely define a strong sense of feeling and harmonious direction among Nigerians have been jettisoned. In its place a massive lacunar has unfortunately been created by the rising ignorance of past positive events occasioned by misinformation and evil manipulations by self-seeking members of the society.
This is why there is the urgent need for a reconsideration of the position of history not only in school curriculum but also in the community through different activities such as the promotion of traditional folk tales and storytelling.
The media as a strategic agent of mass mobilization and influencer of public opinion should often consider the promotion of history through news and programming so to erase endemic stereotype that promotes mutual suspicion and enmity amongst the people.
There is no doubt that through sustained and aggressive promotion of deep historical knowledge, the current trend of ethnic and communal misgivings and hatred can be reduced for better inter group relations peace and collective growth of Nigeria.
Written by: Musa Abdullahi.