For the Liberation of Nigeria


‘I wish I knew Yusufu Bala Usman better. His stuff is so good; the best kind of lucid, outspoken, demystifying, vigorous, witty, radical writing. Whom among radical pamphleteers does he remind me of? Tom Paine? William Morris? Jamal Al-Din Al Afghani? Ho Chi Minh? Franz Fanon? Something of all of them. He certainly belonged to that honourable and honest tradition. When I first met him, several   years ago at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, I was impressed by the depth and range of his historical understanding (he corrected some of my errors in regard to the history of Katsina, helpfully and politely). I did not then sufficiently realize that he was also a perceptive and critical Marxist, a splendid deflater of academic pomposities, a courageous opponent and analyst of the neo-colonial Nigerian state and its ruling class’.  Professor Thomas Hodgkins renowned Africanist historian, reviewing For the Liberation of Nigeria, in Race and Class, Spring, 1980.

 ‘Usman’s method is always bold and serious. He seeks to unearth the roots of the profound crisis of structure and direction facing Africa today. His purpose is to fashion tools for total liberation. ‘Usman searchingly examines among others these questions:  petroleum, the state of the nation, hospital fees, national unity, the manipulation of religion, transnational companies, trading-post agents, intermediaries, subservience to America, the constitution and minority report, foreign policy, intellectual robots, Arab-Israeli conflict, Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and the struggle against racist South Africa. For Usman the future lies with the people, their consciousness and their struggle.’ – John La Rose, Founder of New Beacon Books and the George Padmore Institute, London.

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Yusufu Bala Usman

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