Prof. Bjorn Beckman, Renowned ABU Marxist Scholar to be Honored in Abuja

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A memorial colloquium will be held in Abuja on Thursday in honour of Björn Beckman, an influential Marxist scholar and former lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University.

According to the organisers, the memorial is for “a comrade, scholar, internationalist and a friend of Nigeria”.

Bjorn Beckman, ABU Marxist Scholar to be Honoured in Abuja

Beckam was a lecturer at Ahmadu Bello University from 1978 to 1987 and his contribution to radical movements and scholarship in the country is immense.

The celebrated Swedish political economist was laid to rest on December 6, 2019, a month after he passed away in Stockholm, Sweden.

The theme of the lecture in memory of the 81-year old Marxist scholar is “The Future of Democracy in Nigeria”.

Kabiru Yusuf, chairman of Daily Trust Newspapers, and Adebayo Olukoshi, professor, are expected to speak at the event. The panelists are Ngozi Iwere, Charmaine Pereira and Adele Jinadu.

There had been an outpouring of tributes for the late scholar when the news of the passing broke in December.

ALSO READ: Adieu, Prof Bjorn Beckman: Tribute to a world-class scholar and mentor – by Idris Jibrin,

”Björn Beckman had always planned to write a book on his intellectual contribution, political engagement and his own direct participation in the radical movements that were active during his Nigeria tenure since 1978,” Jibrin Ibrahim said in a tribute to the Swedish scholar.

“In 1987, the authorities of Ahmadu Bello University had refused to extend his work contract for political reasons, and he was obliged to return to Sweden but his engagement with academia and the radical movement in Nigeria never waned.

“At 75 years old, when he finally had the time to settle down and write the book, illness came, and it took years to even diagnose his condition. He therefore did not have the strength and peace of mind to write this important book that so many of his Nigerian comrades would have loved to see. He however left extensive dairies that could be mined for information and insights on the struggle for a progressive Nigeria.

“Beckman was a key player in the 1983 Marx Centenary Conference where a major battle developed between different Marxist and radical schools with Bala Usman and Claude Ake amongst others.

“Some of us self-defined as pure Marxist Leninists seeing others as mere radicals, but that’s a story for another time. He was an important adviser to the Students’ Movement and was really moved by the issues around ‘Ali Must Go’ and the killing of students in Ahmadu Bello University in 1986.”

“Finally, in the post 1986 period, he worked closely with the Centre for Research and Documentation and Mambaiyya House – Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research, both in Kano.”


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Chila Andrew Aondofa

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