Problems and prospects of preservation and conservation of Arabic and Ajami Manuscripts in Northern Nigeria
The Arabic and Ajami manuscripts are one of the Nigeria’s literary and cultural heritage. The manuscripts certainly facilitate greater understanding on the past, present and future of Nigeria’s literary and scholarly tradition. The manuscripts, particularly, those written by Sokoto Jihad triumvirate i.e. Sheikh Usman bin Danfodiyo, Abdullahi bin Fodiyo and Muhammad Bello dwelt on religion, politics, economic, medicine etc. However, despite the immense importance of the manuscripts, a number of problems are bedeviling the efforts of preserving them. In view of this, the article discusses the nature of paper and ink formation and some of the problems confronting its preservation. It also examines the colonial insensitivity towards Islam/Arabic language. Equally, it points out the Northern Nigeria’s environmental condition as one of the major challenges in the preservation and conservation processes. The last segment discusses future prospect of the conservation and preservation activities of Arabic and Ajami manuscripts in the Northern Nigeria.