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 Benue State University, Makurdi

Department of History

Brief on the Department

Department of History, one of the pioneer Departments to come on stream as the new Benue State University was established in 1992/93. Teaching commenced in the Department with the first batch of B. A. (Hons) students numbering less than 20. Academic staff strength was only 5, without a Professor. The Department has grown over the years and can now boast of over 559 students with an academic staff-students ratio of 35:1. There are 5 Professors, 1 Associate Professor, 3 Senior Lecturers, 2 Lecturers 1, 3 Lecturers II, one Assistant Lecturer and 2 Graduate Assistants. We also have 3 part-time lecturers.

Names of Past and Present Heads of History Department

Professor Yakubu A. Ochef 1993-1998
Dr Atoato D. Igirgi 1998-2001
Professor Armstrong M. Adejo 2001-2005
Dr Emmanuel C. Ayangaor 2005-2006
Professor Armstrong M. Adejo 2006-2009
Professor M. O. Odey 2009 – date

Programmes Offered with Admission Requirements and Course Duration

The Department which started with B.A. (Hons) History programme and has since then introduced more programmes at PhD, Masters and Sub-Degree levels. There are (i) Diploma in Nigerian Cultural Studies, [DNCS], (ii) Bachelor of Arts [B.A.] (Hons) History, (iii) Masters Degree [M.A.] in History, and (iv) Doctor of Philosophy [Ph.D.] in History.

The program is a comprehensive and carefully designed package, with its structure and content geared towards imparting functional cognitive skills which are relevant to the practical development needs of the Nigerian nation.

Aims and Objectives

To develop middle level manpower articulate the cause of cultural revitalization and reorientation as well as cultural resource management amongst Nigerian people, so that culture can take its rightful place in Nigeria's development planning and overall national life.

To enable that bona-fide students grasp essential aspects of Nigerian cultures and related phenomena, so that they can function efficiently as Research Officers, Cultural/Tourist Officers, Information/Liaison Officers, and Administrative Assistants to top executives in the public and private sectors.

To give prospective students a sound academic foundation which will prepare them for entry into Honours Degree Programs in relevant Faculties of Benue State University as well as other recognized institutions.

Beneficiaries of the Program will gain a very rewarding experience that will enhance their social and intellectual horizon.

Course Duration: Two (2) academic sessions of 4 Semesters

Admission Requirements

Candidates should possess a minimum of four (4) Credits in WASC, GCE, or SSCE, including English Language and either History, Government or Religious Knowledge.
Candidates who possess lesser academic qualifications but have relevant working experience of not less than two years in the public service or recognized private institutions will also be considered.


The B. A. (Hons) History programme reflects the belief that a proper understanding of history, apart from being indispensable to an educated individual, should embrace some perspective from related disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. The philosophy of the University at large and of the History Department in particular emphasizes the multidisciplinary approach to the study of the development of human society over time.

In their first and second years, students are introduced to the histories of major areas of the world and to the basic techniques of the historical craft. In their third and fourth years, students are able to take more specialized courses which at the same time introduce them to a wide variety of approaches to history writing and research. In the final year, they have an opportunity to try their hands at small-scale researches in the form of their research projects. In addition, a number of specialized courses are offered based on documents which help to give them the feel of historical research and interpretation.


The major objective of the academic programme of the department is to give students a thorough understanding of Nigerian history and historiography against the backdrop of African and world history. By so doing, students will acquire the skills to critically and rigorously analyze local and global historical movements that have shaped the lives of ordinary people in Nigeria, Africa and the world over.

Besides, the intellectual development that arises from the study of history, the programme will also confer upon the students the analytical faculty and balanced judgment needed, particularly for research and administrative and managerial responsibilities.

Although the programme emphasizes Nigerian and African History in that order, the realities of our contemporary world necessitate comparative study of other major areas of Europe and Asia and the new insights into the main political, social and economic forces that have shaped specific historical events. Students are also to acquire some awareness on how these historical events and other factors have enhanced or impeded world historical developments.

Admission Requirements

Direct Entry

(i) Two 'A' level passes/NCE (Upper Credit) in History, Government and any other related subject.

(ii) Diploma in Nigerian Cultural Studies, International Affairs/Strategic Studies or related discipline passed at the Upper Credit.


(i) Five 'O' level credits including Government or History.


History/Government and any two other subjects from the Arts & Social Sciences

Aims and Objectives

The principal objective of the postgraduate programme is to create a centre for advanced historical study in Nigeria which will attract some of the most promising students and enable them to enhance the interest of historical scholarship. The programme is also designed to train and produce historians of very high quality who can make original contributions to the study of history.
The postgraduate programme of the Department also aims to provide training for University teachers of History and for students with the wish to make a career of teaching History in secondary and other tertiary institutions.
The postgraduate programme seeks to provide in-depth knowledge of historical research, method, theory and writing in the general field of History and specifically in the students' chosen field of research.

The Department offers MA in History with specialization in the following areas:

(a) Nigerian History
(b) African History
(c) Economic History
(d) Diplomatic History


Full-Time candidates shall complete their course work and research and be examined within 4 Semesters while Part-Time candidates should do so within 6 Semesters.

Admission Requirements

Candidates who hold a B. A. (Hons) degree in History or related discipline with at least a Second Class Lower Division from any University recognized by the Senate of Benue State University.
Candidates who hold qualifications which together with relevant experience is deemed by the Faculty Board to equivalent of the above.

Aims and Objectives
The programme is intended to produce managers at a higher academic level to teach and research in our tertiary institutions and cognate organizations. Such graduates should be able to make original contributions to the study of History and advancement of knowledge which will benefit humanity.

Areas of Specialization include
(a) African History
(b) Nigerian History
(c) Historiography
(d) Cultural History
(e) Diplomatic History
(f) Gender History
(g) Intergroup Relations


Full-Time candidates have between 6 and 10 Semesters to complete course work and research and defend their thesis while Part-Time candidates have a minimum of 10 Semesters and not less than 14 Semesters to do so.

Admission Requirements

(a) Candidates who hold M.A. Degree in History from a recognized University with an average GPA of 4.00. The Department may admit candidates with a GPA of 3.00 if there is satisfactory evidence of quality academic research project at the graduate level.

(b) Candidates with Masters of Philosophy Degree, M.Phil, may be admitted for the Programme.

(c) Candidates may be required to pass an oral interview before final admission.

(d) Candidates who do not hold an M. A. in History will be required to take a number of 700 level courses for one academic session.

1. Name: Silas Ododo Ibu OKITA

Rank: Professor

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1973) Grad. Cert. Education (1973) ABU,

M.Phil (1978) Leicester. Museology/Cultural History

2. Name: Yakubu Aboki OCHEFU

Rank: Professor

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1982), Cal. MA (1985), PhD (1992). Calabar. Political and Economic History

3. Name: Armh6 M. ADEJO

Rank: Professor

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1984), PhD (1992) Lagos. Diplomatic and African History

4. Name: Mike Odugbo ODEY

Rank: Professor

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1980), PGDE (1987), MA (1994) PhD

Head, Dept of History (2002) Head of Department, Jos. Economic


5. Name: Okpeh Ochayi OKPEH

Rank: Associate Professor

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1991), MA (1994), PhD (2005) Jos. Social and Economic History

6. Name: Toryina Ayati VARVAR

Rank: Associate Professor

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1982) Grad. Cert. Education. (1982)

ABU, Dean, Faculty of Arts MA (1992),

Ibadan, PhD (2008) BSU Social and Political History

7. Name: Gabriel S. NYITYO

Rank: Senior Lecturer

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1986), M.Sc (1992), PhD (2003) Ibadan.

Archaeology and Social History

8. Name: Emmanuel C. AYANGAOR

Rank: Senior Lecturer

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1973), Grad. Cert. Education (1973),

MA (1977) ABU. PhD (2010) BSU. Social and Cultural History

9. Name: John Ebute AGABA

Rank: Senior Lecturer

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1992), MA (1996), PhD (2010) Jos.

Political & Economic History

10. Name: Wilfred T. UJI

Rank: Lecturer I

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1997), MA (2000) BSU, PhD (2008)

Abuja. Economic History.

11. Name: Victor IYANYA

Rank: Lecturer I

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1997) ABU, MA (2004) BSU.

Archaeology/International Studies

12. Name: Sylvester I. UGBEGILI

Rank: Lecturer II

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1999), MA (2005), PhD (2010) BSU. Social and Economic History

13. Name: Christopher S. ORNGU

Rank: Lecturer II

Qualifications/Specialization: MA IRSS (2003) BSU, MA (2005) History,

PhD (2009) BSU. Diplomatic History

14. Name: Elizabeth Ihugh YECHO

Rank: Lecturer II

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (1998) ABU, MA (2005) BSU. Social History

15. Name: Paise T. AGBA

Rank: Assistant Lecturer

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (2004) BSU, MA (2008) BSU Economic History

16. Name: Mrs. F. O. AKOR

Rank: Graduate Assistant

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (2007) BSU, Economic History

17. Name: Mr. E. IKPANOR

Rank: Graduate Assistant

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (2006) BSU, Economic History

18. Name: George E. ODE

Rank: Part-Time Lecturer I

Qualifications/Specialization: BA ABU, MA (1982) ABU. Socio-Political History

19. Name: John. T. SUSWAM

Rank: Part-Time Lecturer II

Qualifications/Specialization: BA, MA BSU, PhD 2010, (BSU). Diplomatic History

20. Name: E. A. AKOSU

Rank: Part-Time Asst. Lecturer

Qualifications/Specialization: BA (ABU), MA (ABU). Social History

Non-Academic Staff of the Department

1. Name: ATTAH Enoch Onazi

Rank: Secretary/Computer Operator

Qualifications/Specialization: OND Computer Science, Cert Word Processing,

Dip.Data Processing, Electronics Labour Trade Test 3

2. Name: Mike IKYOCHER

Rank: Chief Messenger/Cleaner

Qualifications/Specialization: FSLC, Basic Clerical Officer Certificate

3. Name: Mrs Priscilla IKWE

Rank: Messenger

Qualifications/Specialization: FSLC, NCE

Departmental Journal

The Benue Valley Journal of Humanities, published by the Department, is in its seventh volume.

Historical Society of Nigeria, HSN

Academic Staff of the Department have played leading roles in the activities of the Historical Society of Nigeria. The Department hosted the October 2002 Annual Congress of the Society at Benue State University, Makurdi. Professor Yakubu A. Ochefu was elected President of the Historical Society for two terms. Other members of staff like Professors M. O. Odey and O. O. Okpeh have also held important positions in the leadership of the HSN as Council Members of the HSN.
Students of the Department run their Students Historical Society of Nigeria, SHSN, periodically arranging local academic activities as well as undertaking educational visits to important historic institutions, archives, museums, sites and monuments in Nigeria. The leadership also runs the Students Departmental Library.

Staff List

S/No. Full Name Rank Status Qualification Specialization
1 Professor Tenure    
2 Lecturer II Tenure    
4 Senior Lecturer Part-Time    
5 Senior Lecturer Part-Time    
6 Assistant Lecturer Part-Time    
7 Teaching Assistant Teaching Assistant    
8 Teaching Assistant Teaching Assistant    
9 Teaching Assistant Teaching Assistant    
10 158    

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