Atyap people launch book to document its history

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The Atyap people of Southern Kaduna, have launched a book documenting the group’s history.

The book, which was unveiled in Abuja, uses archaeological evidence to trace the history of the Atyap people.

The 261-page book contains invaluable documentation of late ace historian, Bala Achi, and focuses on the core traditions of the Atyap people and their place in Southern Kaduna.

Andrew Yakubu, chairman of the event and former Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), commended the authors for a great job.

Speaking on the importance of the book, Mr Yakubu said, “Every tribe tries as much as possible to make sure that its history is kept.

“This is important especially at this time when our children are mixing with other cultures in the diaspora.

“I hope that this history-making launch will stimulate more active minds to document history from the time documented in this book to the present day,” Mr Yakubu said.

Stateless

While reviewing the book, Williams Abba, emphasised that the book clears the erroneous colonial belief that the Atyap people were stateless.

According to him, this belief was based on the democratic and decentralised system the people practised.

He praised the authors for drawing out salient historical points, adding that it was necessary for a people to tell its own stories properly.

He said, “our tenacity is one of our best traits. The authors have used archaeological evidence to tell our history.

“The simplicity in the plain language used; makes reading easy and allows for expansion of the book’s readership.

“One’s civilisation and worldview is better conveyed by one’s own language. This points to the importance of his body of work,” he said.

Authors and Contributors

The launch was organised by the Atyap Community Development Association (ACDA) and the family of its lead author, late Mr Achi.

Asides Mr Achi, other contributing authors included Yashim Isa Bitiyong, Akila Dutse Bungwon and Yahaya Baba.

The other authors of the 11 chapter-book are Labara Nyam Jim, Kazah Toure and John Philips.

Mr Bungwon said his motivation for contributing to the book was to show that the Atyap people deserve respect.

He said documenting the history of the people is a huge step to gaining the needed respect.

“It was important to tell the true story. This was the motivation, to show that we weren’t stateless. The message is that Atyap deserves respect as a people,” he said.