This book charts the careers of three significant figures in the history of the Ebira (a small ethnic group in Nigeria’s Middle belt): an Italian Missionary, a British Administrator, and the group’s young Ruler.
The events described occurred in the early decades of the 20th century, at a time when Islam, Christianity and Traditional Religion were locked in deadly combat for the soul of the Ebira.
The central characters are joined by an extraordinary cast of Africans and Europeans, driven by the possibilities afforded to them in the melting-pot which was Nigeria at that epoch. The denouement of this ‘fight to the finish’- which involved victory and defeat – demonstrates that while one of the great riches of the human spirit is its resilience, that capacity is not unlimited. A fascinating story unfolds in a narrative that conveys the experience of being party to an episode in history which resonates today.
About the author: Edmund Hogan is a priest of the Society of African Missions (SMA), ordained in 1969. He holds a Masters and PhD. degrees from the National University of Ireland. Dr Hogan has taught in several Universities and Colleges, in Ireland and Africa. Among them are University College Cork, University College Dublin, St Patrick’s College Maynooth, SS Peter and Paul’s Seminary, Ibadan, Nigeria, St. Augustine’s Seminary, Zambia, Tangaza College (Catholic University of East Africa), Nairobi, Kenya. Most recently, he was on the teaching staff at the Good Shepherd Major Seminary, Kaduna, Nigeria.
For the past decade he has served as Archivist for the Irish Province of the Society of African Missions. Author of Catholic Missionaries and Liberia: A Study in Missionary Enterprise [(1850-1950]; and The Irish Missionary Movement; A Historical Survey, currently the standard work on that subject. Dr Hogan was a student of the distinguished Irish historian, the late Professor Oliver MacDonagh, under whose guidance he first dipped his feet into the waters of historical research and writing. He is currently working on a history of the Liberian Civil War.