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10 List of Books on Nigerian History

History can be simply be described as a record of the past or a study of past events connected to a particular place or thing, the function of history is to understand and master the past as a key to shaping the present. It is an inquiry into the past to assist in judging the present.

Generally, it is very important to seek answers to relevant questions that involve the past in order to make headway in whatever we pursue in life. Knowledge of remarkable past events will assist us in making sound decisions and judgment in the present for a better future.

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This is applicable in business, religion, politics, family, career and in all spheres of life. Without memories, humans will find the world an extremely confusing and chaotic place, the importance of history can therefore not be over emphasized.

History is the memory of the society, a benchmark as regards what is right or wrong, it helps us decipher good from bad and ensures that we do not repeat the same mistakes consistently. As surviving evidence from the past, history fosters innovation and aids analytical thinking, it unites the society and it is capable of fostering disunity as in the present case of Nigeria (aftermath of the civil war).

The history of Nigeria is quite broad, intriguing and interesting; it is the mirror through which Nigeria sees itself for re-validation and reappraisal. It creates avenues for the resolving of conflicts, offers education to citizens, provides foresight to public officers and political leaders, it preserves pour rich cultural heritage and connect Nigerians to our roots.

The decline in the knowledge of history among today’s youth is a cause for alarm and is one of the reasons why history has been re-branded and repackaged into the new Nigerian Secondary school syllables to meet the present day needs.

I believe every Nigerian should aspire to study history to boost the knowledge of our growth processes, our problems and where they stem from for identifying possible solutions and to preserve our culture and traditions that makes us a unique people.

There is no way we will make good economic, political, socio political, religious decisions without studying the past; if we must be in sync with world events, if we must better citizens who seek to understand change and different cultures while preserving our own identity, we must take history seriously.

Infoguide presents in this article a list of interesting on Nigerian history for historians, for research purpose, so inform young minds on the most historic events in Nigeria and for lovers of good literature. Here is a referable list of books on the history of Nigeria.

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List of Books for Nigerian History


Written by renowned Nigerian author the late Chinua Achebe, this book is a personal record or documentation of the Nigerian civil war also known as the biafran war. Achebe, one of the best and foremost Nigerian writers, communicates his experience in a combination of history, memoir, poetry and prose.

The book is a must read for anyone who seeks a clear understanding and a vivid imagination of what transpired during the civil war which lasted from 1967 to 1970. The civil war is one of the most memorable events whose effects still plunges the present day Nigeria.

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Written by Toyin Falola one of Nigeria’s leading historians and Mathew Heaton who worked on Africa Science and culture. Both writers combined their expertise to explain Nigeria’s challenges through an exploration of its pre colonial and colonial past.

The book covers Nigerian history from its origin down to the period of when power was transferred from military to civilian rule. It is one of the few original and non fictitious works on the history of our beloved country and it is strongly recommended for extensive research.

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Is a documentation of the first Nigerian military coup and seizure of power in 1966. Authored by Adewale Ademoyega who was the last surviving member of the group that planned and executed the coup, the book is one of the most accurate accounts of military rule in Nigeria.

It is an accurate reading material for anyone willing to know about military coups and military dictatorship in Nigeria.


Another historic material from Chinua Achebe, the book problems of Nigeria while inspiring her citizens to learn and unlearn where necessary as a major step towards finding viable solutions to the problems which he identified as lack of patriotism, tribalism, social injustice, mediocrity, indiscipline and corruption. It is strongly recommended for people in government and those who intend to occupy leadership positions in future.


Written by modern day international award winning and illustrious writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is a fictitious narration of the Nigerian civil war as narrated by her grandfather. It deals with tribalism, class, race and other intrinsic issues that have always constituted the core of Nigeria’s history.


Is a book written by the late Ogoni writer and human right activist, the late Ken Saro Wiwa who was executed by the military government in 1995. The book narrates an anti war story with setting in the oil rich Niger delta region of Nigeria. It was written in Pidgin and Idiomatic English.

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Is written by Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. The book is a memoir of his childhood in the western region of Nigeria. It tells of the Nigerian society that was torn between traditional and modern forces and its resistance towards colonial rule in the 1940s.


One if Chinua Achebe’s best sellers, tells us the struggle between the Nigerian traditional society in the east and colonial masters who at that time, came to rob them of their traditions and cultural beliefs in a bid to introduce Christianity. It tells us in a work of fiction how the easterners ( the igbos) strongly resisted the divide and rule strategy of colonial masters. It is a must read for lovers of good literature and history.


Written by Ken Saro Wiwa, was his last memoir. It is an account of his unlawful detention for eighteen months and of efforts by the Nigerian military government to silence him and kill his passion for the Ogoni cause.

The book revealed how the military government subverted the law and reigned terror on Nigerians. The author was killed a year after the release of this book.


Written by Elechi Amadi, a renowned Nigerian literary champion and a retiree from the army, is an autobiographical non fictitious record of his personal experience during the civil war. It is also called ‘The Civil War Diary’.

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Lami Ogar

Lami is from cross river state and holds a B.sc in accounting from a Nigerian university. Writing for her is a form of detoxification, she has written several articles for Essence magazine and runs political commentary on twitter. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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