The ATYAP people of Southern Kaduna have launched a book documenting their history.
The Book titled: ‘The Short Story of ATYAP people’, was written using archaeological evidence to trace the history of the ATYAP people.
The 11 Chapter book contains documentation of the late historian, Bala Achi and focuses on the core customs and traditions of the ATYAP people and their place in Nigeria.
Reviewing the book, Rev. Fr. Williams Abbah reaffirmed the belief that the book will help the people of ATYAP to re-discover their true identity via the tools of languages and other social cultural instruments.
He stated that the lead author of the book, late Mr Bala Achi, argued evidently that ATYAP people of southern Kaduna State are not stateless people.
Abbah called for the strengthening of traditional institutions to serve as evidence to the proposed gazette of traditional nomenclatures of the leaders of ATYAP people.
According to him, “chapter one fires deserving shots at the lopsided and poisonous colonial legacies regarding the history and identity of the ATYAP. The lead author describes the assertion that ATYAP people are Stateless people as myopic”.
“Our tenacity is one of our best traits. The authors have used archaeological evidence to tell our history.
“The book will reopen the eyes of ATYAP people for proper self identification using the tool of language & other social cultural Institutions” he said.
The diasporan community
Abbah added that the book acknowledged the diaspora community of ATYAP people as well as those in Nasarawa, Plateau states and other places across Nigeria.
“The book it considers and treat the history and migration of the ATYAP people, it’s a good material on the culture of the people of ATYAP” he said.
Abbah however said it was time for the ATYAP people as well as Nigerians to celebrate and embrace their customs and traditions.
According to him, “it’s not enough to cry that we have been tied to our old ways by the oppressors, it’s more important that we promote our own culture. Our liberation goes beyond changing the attires of our traditional leaders”.
Unveiling the Book in Abuja, Dr Andrew Yakubu, an indigene of ATYAP community and a former GMD of the NNPC, emphasized the importance of documenting history of a people saying that it would facilitate seamless integration of the diasporan community.
According to him, “I hope this history making launch will stimulate more active minds to document history from the last till present day”.
ATYAP people are not stateless
Akila Dutse Bungwon, a contributing author of the book said his motivation for contributing to the short story of ATYAP people was to show that the ATYAP people deserve respect and are not stateless people.
According to him, 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”
Another contributing author, Edward Philips urged the people to be cooperative with each other in their quest to achieve a united front rather than fighting each other.
Professor Philip emphasized the place of cooperation among the people and said when people of different or the same culture cooperate it advances the people.
The book on the short story of ATYAP people was written by seven authors and compiled by the late Mr Bala Achi, a member of the Historical Society of Nigeria. He was also a member of the Archaeological Association of Nigeria.
The Book launch was organised by the ATYAP Community Development Association ACDA and the family of its lead author, late Bala Achi.
Contributing authors of the book includes Yashim Isa Bitiyong, Akila Dutse Bungwon, Mallam Hahaha Baba, Labara Nyam Jim, Kazah Toure and John Philips.