CSOs and Others Honour Bjorn Beckman in Abuja

Civil Society Organisations, academics, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Many well-wishers gathered together on Thursday, March 12, 2019, in Abuja to honour Bjorn Beckman an internationalist, a Marxist scholar and a friend of Nigeria, who died in November 2019.

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

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

Mr Kole Shettima, The Board Chairman, CDD, while giving remarks said that Nigerian youths need to be given the opportunity to serve for democracy to be instilled. He noted that Mr Beckman left behind over 750 materials for use by Nigerian students.

Dr Kole Shettima

Also speaking, the chairman of Daily Trust newspapers and chairman of the event, Kabiru Yusuf, described the late scholar as one who taught common values of decency and public-spiritedness and called for the sustenance of the ideas of the late Mr Beckman.

“Bjorn has left us with strong lessons inhumaneness, humility and hard work, I think we should use this occasion to find a way to nurture this common bond and if we can pass it on to the next generation,”

Yusuf said.

Likewise, Dr Jibrin Ibrahim, senior fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Development, on his part, said the late scholar electrified the learning of Marxist political economy with his vast knowledge of the classics and current literature.

Jibrin Ibrahim said Beckman was a profoundly knowledgeable Marxist theoretician with deep knowledge of its methodology. 

“This enabled him to make all of us better students and teachers of the discipline. He had the capacity to guide his students to do research that was both empirically grounded and theoretically sound.” Ibrahim said.

Similarly, Dr Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, who was a student of Bjorn Beckman, said that Nigeria must continue to improve the process of democracy. 

The Ekiti state governor said Nigeria will forever be grateful to Beckman for creating a development centred on human values.

Mr Ayuba Wabba, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, described Mr Beckman as a fearless democrat who was not afraid to speak his mind even in a foreign land. 

Also in attendance were the Delegates from the Nigerian Labour Congress, Beckman’s wife, Gunilla Andrae; and children; delegates of National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria and Amino Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training.