It sounds pretty weird that a department in the University of Ibadan has not produced a first class graduate since 1948.
That is a long discouraging history to be honest. But here is the irony, this is where History is best taught as a course.
The History department of the Premier University has a long history of not producing first-class students and this has gone for almost 70 years in the Institution.
Students come in and go but none of them was ever crowned. None ever wore the distinction gown until when Ozibo Ekele graduated from the department.
Ekele hit news headlines recently when he emerged the first distinction graduate of History ever produced by University of Ibadan.
Just like Aarinola Olaiya, who broke a 28-year old record in the Surgery Department of Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigerians celebrated Ekele and rained insults on the lecturers in the department
From opinions on Twitter, lecturers in a faculty or department that does not produce at least a first class student in five years should be fired.
If this online verdict is anything to go by, the History department at the University of Ibadan should have by now been swept clean of the lecturers because they are not capable of breeding outstanding students.
Ironically, the department according to Ekele is the best place to study History as a course in Nigeria.
Ekele believes UI has a different approach to teaching History and that marks it out from others in the country.
Forget the fact that there is only one distinction student in 69 years, studying History in UI is the best thing that can happen to any student of History.
This is what Ekele wants all of us to understand when he spoke to Pulse about his academic feat in the University.
“UI is the home of analytical history. Our emphasis is analysis rather than narrative. It is about the questions on What and Why. What applies to the narratives while why applies to analysis.
“If you ask now when did Nigeria gain independence, everybody will chorus 1960, that is the question what. That is the narrative. But why did colonial masters decide to give us Independence, that is a why question. Then, you will begin to have a lot of answers, that’ll lead to different opinions. That is what UI emphasises as far as History is concerned. The University of Ibadan has the best History department in Nigeria.”
Ekele who had read Mass Communication at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka before coming to the Premier University to read History also believes UI is the best institution in the country considering the calibre of graduates it had produced in the past.
“UI is the home of completeness and when I say completeness I talk of people like Achebe, Okigbo and Shoyinka. People who have sold Nigeria to the world. I think any reasonable human being would want to be associated with their great achievement. I think of myself now as a complete man.”
If you are considering studying History in UI, do not be deterred by the discouraging history of the department. It is the best in the country according to the first first-class graduate of the department.