Friday, March 3, 2017



                             David Aworawo and Felix Ajiola

Michael Monday Ogbeidi, professor of business history in the Department of History and Strategic Studies, University of Lagos, died peacefully on Saturday, 25 February 2017, surrounded by his wife and children. He was aged 55. Mike, as he was fondly called, obtained his B.A., M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees all from the University of Lagos. He joined the University of Lagos in 1997 as Lecturer Grade II and was appointed professor in October 2015. He was until his death the Head of Department.

Mike it was who pioneered the sub-field of business history which he carved out of economic history in the early 2000s. At present, the Lagos School of History is one of the few in Nigeria where business history is taught as a course both at the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels. Ogeidi's work Fundamentals of Business History also remains the only one on the subject with particular focus on Nigeria. However, Mike's contribution to historical scholarship was not limited to research and publication in the sub-field of business history. He had additional competence in social history, public history and American studies.  His publications testify to his versatility as a scholar and his eclectic approach.

An indigene of Fuga in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State, Mike Ogbeidi was born in Kaduna. He came to Lagos at the age of four when his parents moved to Apapa in 1965. He attended the African Church Grammar School, Lagos, for his West African School Certificate (WASC) from 1973 to 1978, and the Anwal Ul Islam College, also in Lagos, from 1978 to 1980 where he obtained his GCE/ A level certificate. He was admitted with his 'A Level' certificate to study History at the University of Lagos in 1980 and graduated in 1983. He enrolled for the Master of Arts degree in History at the University of Lagos in 1986 and graduated in 1987. He obtained the Ph.D. in 1999.  

Michael Ogbeidi was greatly influenced by the works of, and contact with, Professor Akinjide Osuntokun the late Professor Babatunde Agiri during the early period of his career development. It was the late Professor B.A. Agiri that stimulated his interest in economic history and Professor Akinjide Osuntokun drew his attention to the vast opportunities in international relations and public history. In later years, Professor Ogbeidi's contact with many high-ranking police officers, notably M.D. Abubakar and Solomon Arase (both former Inspector General of Police), made him to develop interest in insurgency and terrorism studies. His contact with the law enforcement officers also encouraged him to develop the Advanced Diploma in Law Enforcement Administration (ADLEA) and the Advanced Diploma in Counter-Terrorism (ADCT) programmes at the University of Lagos, programmes for which he served as initiator until his death. Mike was therefore both a scholar interested in research into different themes of public history and practical activities related to social and economic development.

Michael Ogbeidi was a versatile and creative scholar. He had an avid ambition to succeed, despite the challenges of health.  His tireless commitment to research and business was what stood him out as an academic. He was persuaded that family background and personal frailties must not be allowed to blight the will to succeed. This was clearly reflected in the circumstances under which his last major work Dynamics of the Nigerian Financial System was produced. The book is a festschrift in honour of a former managing director of the United Bank for Africa, Philip Oduoza. The work was produced at a time when Mike experienced a debilitating health condition. He forged ahead nevertheless, and it is testimony to doggedness and tenacity of purpose that the book was produced.

Mike was certainly a shining example of how to succeed in the face of adversity. He will be sorely missed. 


Toyin Falola
Department of History
The University of Texas at Austin
104 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712-0220
512 475 7224
512 475 7222 (fax)

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