GENERAL HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT
The Department of History was one of the foundation departments when university level teaching began at the Old Airport Hotel site (now in the Air force Base in Kano ) in February 1964. Some of the graduates of this department have gone on to serve the nation in prominent position. In addition to training prominent Professors and Vice Chancellors, we have also produced many others who have served in positions such as State Governor, State Commissioner, Head of the State Civil Service, Police Commissioner, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Federal Directors, Federal Permanent Secretaries, Foreign Service Officers, Senior Officers of the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as Chief Executive Officers in many public and private enterprises.
The Honours Programme has been a prominent part of the curriculum of the Department of History. This course of study has provided not only rigorous academic training, but has included directed dissertation research in History. Many of the B. A. dissertations in the University library and the Departmental Library are significant contributions to our knowledge of the History of Nigeria. Many of our graduates have undergone on to further studies in other universities in Nigeria as well as in Europe and the United States of America. Several have also taught in universities abroad such as the United States many and Britain.
Our undergraduate courses stress:
- Nigeria History
- Northern Nigeria History
- History of the Islamic World
- African History
- World History
- Economic History
- Historical Methodology.
Our post graduate programme has expanded considerably. Right from the very beginning, in 1964, when we were operating as a branch of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, our graduates and staff continued directly into M. A. and Ph.D. work at that university and later at Bayero University, Kano. Graduates had gone on for further studies also at universities such as the University of Ibadan , the University of London, Oxford University, Cambridge University , the University of Birmingham, Harvard University , the University of California , and Michigan University.
We have continued to demonstrate our commitment to historical research not only through faculty and student research programmes, but also through participation with other stake holders. The Department of History has been an active participant in the activites of the Historical Society of Nigeria and much of the foundation work for the society’s most important textbook, (the basic one for university historical training) Groundwork of Nigerian History (ed. by Obaro Ikime, 1980 with many reprints), was done at a conference in the Department of History, BUK, in 1971.
We also co-operate with many organizations in Nigeria concerned with the development of historical studies, such as the Kano State History and Culture Bureau, the Department of Museums and Monuments, the National Archives, and the National Council of Arts and Culture as well as many others throughout the nation. We have been able to publish several volumes of historical essays which were produced by International Conferences sponsored by the Department of History. These are B. M. Barkindo (ed) (1983). Studies in the History of Kano, and B. M. Barkindo (ed) (1989). Kano and Some of Her Neighbours and FAIS Journal of Humanities, both published by Bayero University, Kano . The Department has also been highly supportive of the University’s new Mambayya House which is a Centre for the Study of Democracy and the Current Director, Dr. Haruna Wali is a staff of the Department.
The Department has long supported the Students’ Historical Society of Nigeria (BUK Branch), and we have regularly appointed a Staff patron who assists the Society in general and with the publications, and activities, such as symposia, conferences, and excursions. We also have supported, and continue to support, historical research by non Nigeria scholars doing research on Nigerian History here in Nigeria. Through research affiliation with foreign universities and scholars we have helped to develop knowledge of the History of Nigeria here and abroad. Some recent researchers have been from New York University, Toronto, Canada; University of California, Los Angeles; University of East Anglia, U. K.; Michigan University, Ann Arbor Michigan, U.S.A.; and Bayreuth University, Germany.
The Department of History is one of the most respected centers of historical studies in Nigeria . Its programmes and products are a unique amalgam of Islamic, Western and indigenous historical perspectives. The department is well known for its interest in contemporary Islamic issues. Since the beginning of the last decade, the department started to build a strong and credible profile in Development studies. Apart from the regular 4-year degree programme in history, the department runs M. A. and Ph.D. programmes in History and successful post-graduate (P.G.D.D.S. and M.D.S.) programmes in Development Studies.
As part of the Observances of the one hundredth anniversary of the conquest of Kano by the British, the Department played a crucial role in the production of a book by the Gidan Makama Museum of Kano (under the National Commission for Museums & Monuments) and the British Council: Hambolu, M.O. (ed) (2003). Perspectives on Kano-British Relations. Of the twelve chapters, three were written by members of the academic staff of the department and another two were written by recent graduates of our postgraduate programme. The Department was an integral part of the organization of an International Conference on the “Transformation of Northern Nigeria 1903-2003” organized by the History Department of Bayero University, Kano, and Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, as well as that of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, held at Arewa House, Kaduna, from the 27th – 29th March 2003 at Kaduna. In addition to helping to organize the conference, many of the lecturers and a few recent graduates of our programmes presented papers. The recent proceeding has been published.
In addition, the Department was an active participant in the “International Bicentenary Conference on the Sokoto Caliphate and its Legacies, 1804-2004”, held from the 14th - 16th June, 2004 in Abuja. Some five lecturers and several recent graduates presented papers. The published proceedings have been published. At each of the above four conferences Prof. Murry last of the University College, London, and a former professor in our Department, was present and delivered papers. These were excellent opportunities for us to renew our ties with him and with the University of London, which have proved to be very supportive to the Department over the past several decades.
The Department recently sent a high powered delegation to Ibadan to participate in the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of the Historical Society of Nigeria (October 2005). This delegation was headed by the Head of Department, and included a number of professors and lecturers as well as student representatives from the Students Historical Society of Nigeria (B.U.K. Branch). One of our gains at the Congress was that one member of our staff was elected Vice President (North-West Zone) and another was elected a Member of council of the Historical Society of Nigeria. A former Professor of the Department, Professor B. M. Barkindo was elected Fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria. We are thus still very important in the historical profession in Nigeria and, in fact, around the world. During the 52nd Annual Congress of the Historical Society held at the University of Calabar, a member of the Department, Professor A. R. Mohammed, was elected Fellow of the Historical Society of Nigeria. Professor M. S. Abdulkadir, is the Vice President, North West Zone of the Society, a member of Council and member, Editorial Board of the Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria. Professor M. D. Suleiman is a member, Editorial Board of Tarikh.