PROFESSOR KENNETH ONWUKA DIKE 1917-1983: FATHER OF MODERN AFRICAN HISTORIOGRAPHY
African historians 1 , professional training and ingenuity, indeed put them in a position to promote through our writings and teachings, the forces that may stimulate our people towards pressing forward the emergence of a truly Nigerian nation-state as well as nation-building. Professor Dike has contended that writing:
Is a great labour of love... the process of writing is like giving birth to a child because you are creating, so to speak; you are bringing something new to the world
in terms of ideal.
Thus, one of the major threats before the current crop of Nigerian historians, particularly at this point in time, is the inability of a sizeable proportion to intensify researches, and publications, unlike the old order historians such as K. O. Dike, AdieleAfigbo, Jacob F. Ade-Ajayi, E. A. Ayandele,
ChiekaIfemesia, J. C. Anene, ObaroIkime, Saburi Biobaku, Ebiegberi J. Alagoa, Walter Ofonagoro and Gabriel O. Olusanya- just to mention but a few, with a view towards promoting a better inter-group harmony, peace, general understanding as well as appreciation of one anothers culture among
our people for nation-building. Where researches and publications abound, historians would have succeeded in galvanising both the government and our people towards forging a better Nigerian nation-state given the fact that it is a multi-ethnic society or heterogenous in character. The person of
Professor Kenneth OnwukaDike, as a matter of fact needs no introduction to historians in Nigeria nor those abroad because he was more of a primus inter pare. He has been variously described by historians, although his significance lies in the fact of being the: Pioneer of scientific African