With a questioning mind and a desire to fully understand how the past has informed and thwarted his homeland of Nigeria to fulfil its potential, Nigeria Like a Rolling Stone is a history book like no other.
With what has gone before (from pre-colonisation to democracy) taking up only part of the author’s desire to better understand his country, much of his research and efforts are spent getting to grips with those issues that impede Nigeria’s global standing (despite a wealth of natural resources and a population of over 200 million people).
Putting his enquiring mind to full use in the compilation of this fascinating overview, Nigeria Like a Rolling Stone will find an intrigued and appreciative audience in students of history, economists, the political and professional class, and those with a passion for gaining a better understanding of those issues that impact upon the fortunes of a nation.
Conventional books by historians usually provide either a panoramic recital or a deep dive into the “who, what, and when” of the days gone by. Like treasure hunters, they tend to tiptoe around the “why” question to avoid second-guessing or rattling the bones of ancestral ghosts.
The author is a plucky researcher with an acute but quizzical disposition towards history. The spotlight on his homeland, Nigeria – spanning the pre-colonial through the colonial era, independence, disarray, civil war, military regimes, and democratic rule – backdropped by a wrenching resource curse, is contextually broad. The book’s foray into counterfactuals is a special treat. And, although chronological, it can be read in any order.
Principally, the author seeks to uncover why a nation with so much promise is stuck in motion, perpetually spinning its wheels. Disappointingly, Nigeria’s socioeconomic scorecard has been grim and unsettling. However, rather than fixating on the past, he challenges Nigerians to break free of their reductive, zero-sum outlook on life. Rain or shine, the future beckons.