Sani Yakubu Adam is a lecturer in the Department of History, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria. His broader area of interest is in the history of Islam in northern Nigeria. He was a fellow of the All Africa House program at the University of Cape Town in 2015 and is presently a grantee of Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Doctoral Completion Fellowship. He is currently working on a PhD dissertation focusing on the formation and expansion of the book market of Kano, the major entrepot of northern Nigeria. It examines the book business located in this space but also beyond its boundaries. It looks at all the major players that make up the book market from writers to copyists to printers and also the readers, as consumers, and other intermediaries. Its central thesis revolves around the intersection between the book distribution process and the religious unrest in northern Nigeria.
The book trade is considered as an integral part of the book history: a new area that has received little attention from the African scholars. In the whole of Nigeria there is no any region or area that has a vibrant book trade more than Kano. The research is interested in exploring the nature of the books sold in the market and their influence in animating the Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria. There is a connection between Boko Haram ideology and the Islamic book trade because the insurgents are primarily indoctrinated by the sermons of their leaders and the Jihadi-Salafi literature they read obtained from the Islamic book markets of northern Nigeria; with Kano market being the largest. From the 1990s, there was growing patronage of the Salafi literature, including the works of Jihadi-Salafi scholars, among the young people. The previous researches on the terrorism and insurgency in northern Nigeria are primarily concerned with the doctrines, mode of operation and devastating impact of the Boko Haram in West Africa. This research is the first of its kind that examines the sources of ideological indoctrination of not only the Boko Haram but also that of other Islamic groups. The research also examines the contributions of the Islamic book market to the economic development of Kano.