PARTITIONED BORGU: State, Society and Politics in a West African Border Region
By Hussaini Abdu
The Borgu region currently straddles two West African countries, Nigeria and Republic of Benin. Not much has been written about this ancient and historically strategic polity. The little that has been written about it is mostly tentative, fragmentary, and little more than footnotes to the histories of its neighbors.
Hussaini Abdu’s Partitioned Borgu arguably offers readers the first comprehensive scholarly exploration of Borgu, from pre-colonial to its post-colonial period, detailing its complexities, nuances and contours and the roles of the state and society in each of the phases. Abdu, particularly examines the role of imperial powers, especially before and during colonial rule. It elevates the discourse on colonial boundaries, identity politics and rural political economy, and examines the challenges of one of the most marginal and excluded border regions in West Africa.
In Partitioned Borgu, Abdu, provides an authoritative account of a relatively little known local and yet vital dimension to the classic imperial diplomacy that occasionally came close to outbreaks of war between the fiercely competing European powers, particularly France and Britain, as they sought for spheres of influence and African territories in the infamous era of the so-called Scramble and Partition of Africa.
Hussaini Abdu, is a Political Scientist and International Development expert. He is currently the Country Director of Plan International in Nigeria and previously the Country Director of ActionAid International. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Bayero University, Kano and had taught Political Economy and Defence studies at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. His research interests include identity politics, rural political economy, border studies, civil society, democracy and governance. His works have been published in books and learned journals. He is the author of Clash of Identities: State, Society and Ethno-Religious Conflicts in Northern Nigeria.
Dr. Abdu has painstakingly produced the first major study of the history as well as the contemporary affairs of this ancient polity [Borgu] … Well researched... Lucidly narrated, this is a welcome addition to the genre of literature on Nigerian history and society…
Mahmood A. Yakubu, Professor of History and Author of Emirs and Politicians.
… extensively researched and elegantly written [and] presented within an admittedly refreshing perspective. The result is … a comprehensive and, indeed, authoritative historical account of Borgu …
A. I. Asiwaju, Historian, Professor Emeritus and Pioneer Border and Borderland Scholar in Africa.
Dr. Hussaini Abdu’s Partitioned Borgu is arguably the first comprehensive scholarly exploration of the vast and varied history, political organization, and contemporary realities of Borgu. It is a solid, well-researched, brilliantly written, perceptive, and even-handed book that scholars in history, anthropology, sociology, political science, Africana studies, and the African diaspora will find profoundly engaging and insightful.
Farooq Kperogi, Journalism Professor, Kennesaw State University, USA.
… an extremely important work of scholarship not only for its originality and the light it sheds on an important but neglected aspect of Nigerian, and indeed African history, but also for the incredibly successful weaving of a historical narrative from the perspectives of a political economist, without losing its historicity.
Kyari Mohammad, Professor of History, Modibbo Adama University, Yola, Nigeria.