Federal University of Lafia (FULafia)

Staff Profile

Professor, English and Literary Studies, Faculty of Arts

Prof. Idris O. O. Amali

Research Interest

Oral Literature

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Professor Idriss Amali was born in Upu- Village of Otukpo, Benue State in the fifties to the family of Ali Onche Amali. He had his primary school education in St. Andrew’s School, and Wesley School Upu-Icho all in Otukpo, W.M.B. Bristow Secondary School, Gboko 1968-1969 and Wesley High School Otukpo 1970-1972. In Gboko, Amali was popularly known among his peers for his active participation in school activities. Noted for long distance races, Amali represented his school in zonal athletic competitions.

After the completion of his Secondary School Education in 1972, he proceeded to the University of Ibadan as an Assistant to Professor R . G. Armstrong of the Institute of African Studies, Ibadan where he was engaged in the highly skillful work of translating materials from Idoma into English. These classical cultural materials of the people of the middle belt for which Idoma was given high priority. For his University Education, Amali gained admission into the Jos campus of the University of Ibadan in 1975, remained in Jos when the University became autonomous in1976, and graduated in Second Class Honors Upper Division in Theatre Arts in 1979. He contributed immensely to the evolution of the Students Union of the University of Jos and later became the University’s first President of the Students Union in December, 1976.

He embarked upon the NYSC in Bauchi town where he served at the N.T.A Bauchi and introduced the Local English Drama Programme: Our Theatre. Due to his hard work during the NYSC year, Amali was offered appointment by the N.T.A. However, in late September 1980, he was appointed as a Graduate Assistant by the University of Maiduguri where he rose through the ranks to become a Professor of Oral Literature in 2000. In his nearly four decades of service in the academia in the University of Maiduguri and now Federal University Lafia, Professor Idris Amali has held several Academic and Administrative positions such as: Head, Dept. of English (1996-2000) Director, Division of General Studies (1998-2002); Dean of Faculty of Arts (2004-2008) and Director Academic Planning (2010-2012), all at the University of Maiduguri.

On assuming duty at the Federal University Lafia in 2013, Amali was appointed Director, Directorate of Academic Planning, a position he held till December, 2015 when he was appointed Director, General Studies. He served in that office and was in April, 2017 re-appointed Director Academic Planning, an office he holds to date. He has been Chairman or member of various Administrative and Academic Committees, some of which he chaired for the Universities Amali was member, National Committee for the Protection and Preservation of Nigerian Culture serving as member/ Chairman of NUC Accreditation Teams to Nigerian Universities, member, team of Professors and Administrators on NUC institutional accreditation exercise in two Nigerian Universities Member, National Panel of Judges for National Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) for Nationwide Literature competitions. He has been a B.A. M.A. & PhD programmes’ External Examiner for many Nigerian Universities where he also acts as assessor for the ranks of Associate Professors and Professors.

For his academic publications, Amali is widely published both Nationally and Internationally, authored, co-edited, edited books and research papers in reputable outlets across the world. Many works of Professor Idris Amali which centre on Idoma Language, Literature and Culture have projected the Idoma race worldwide. Amali has pioneering Postgraduate (M.A. & PhD. Degrees) in the studies of the Idoma Proverbs and Alekwaafia Poetry. As a Poet, he has published in many reputable journals and anthologies across the world. The publication of his book of poems, Generals Without War was highly celebrated. He is a recipient of awards and member of many learned Associations and bodies. He is married to Dr. Halima Amali and blessed with children.


A. Books
1. Amali Idris O. O. (1992)
Idoma Bibliography (1848-1987) (A publication of the Nigerian National Council of Arts and Culture) Jos: University Press, xiii: 106 (Over 1,000 References on Idoma)

2. Amali, Idris O. O. (ed.) (2000)
Let the Dawn Come: Voices From North East Nigeria. Maiduguri: Kamel Prints (Pub.) xii pp.218

3. Amali, Idris O. O. (2000)
Generals Without War. Lagos: Malthouse Press Ltd.

4. Amali, Idris O. O. (2000).
Studies of Nigerian Proverbs. A Bibliography. Maiduguri: Kamel Prints (Publications) with nearly 400 hundred references on Nigerian proverbs.

5. Amali, Idris O. O. (2000)
Bibliography of Oral Poetry in Nigeria. (Vol. I.) Faculty of Arts, University of Maiduguri Occasional Pub. No 16. Pp. 173

6. Amali, Idris O. O.; Ojoade, J. O. and Bosoma Sheriff (Eds.) (2007)
Rainbow Beyond its Colours: Essays in Honour of Professor Shamsudeen O. O. Amali, Vol. I. Ibadan Kraft Books. xvi Pp. 346.

7. Amali, Idris O. O.; Ojoade, J. O. and Bosoma Sheriff (eds.) (2007)
 Rainbow Beyond its Colours: Essays in Honour of Professor Shamsudeen O. O. Amali, Vol. II. Ibadan Kraft Books: xxi.304.

8. Karta, Yaganami; Amali, Idris and Dada, J. P. (eds.) (2005)
 Issues in the Humanities, Faculty of Arts Seminar Series, University of Maiduguri, Vol. 3.xii, Pp. 203.

9. Amali, Idris O. O., Adebayo, J. and Bashir Amina (eds.) (2010)
New Studies on Language, Literature and Society: A Festschrift in Honour of Professor Aliyu Mohammed at Sixty-Five, Zaria, Ahmadu Bello University Press: xx. 650.
10. Amali, Idris O. O. and Okpe, O. Ochayi (eds.) (2011) 
Readings in Central Nigerian Culture, Jos, Concept Printing and Publishing Company: x.207.
11. Amali, Idris O. O. (2012)
   Back Again: At the Footholls of Greed, Ibadan: Kraft Books Ltd.

12. Amali, Idris O. O. (2013) Pp 107
Efeega: War of Ants, Ibadan, Kraft Books Ltd. Pp 118

B. Chapters in Books
13. Amali, Idris O. O. & Armstrong, R. G. (1981)
“The Idoma Concept of Law, Judicial Process and Judgement in Homicide”. Amali S. O. O. (ed.) Jos Oral History and Literature Texts, Idoma Bibliography by Idris Amali, 1992 (see page 7 item 70) Pp 89- faculty of Arts University of Jos. 1981

14. Amali, Idris O. O. & Armstrong, R. G. (1981)
“How the Nigerian Civil War Ended”. Amali, S.O.O (ed) Jos Oral History and Literature Texts 1981: 163-210 [in 9 above].

15. Amali, Idris O. O. & J. A. Agaja (1999)
“Professor Conrad Max Benedict Brann: A Bio-Bibliography” S. A. Ajulo (ed.) Language in Education and Society (Festschrift in Honour) of Professor Conrad Max Benedict Brann) Published by University of Maiduguri. Lagos: University Press, 1999:532.551.

16. Amali, Idris O. O. (2007) “The Beginning and Growth of Written Literatures on Idoma Language, Literature and Culture”. In Idris Amali et al, (eds.) Rainbow Beyond its Colours: Essays in Honour of Professor Shamsudeen O. O. Amali, Vol. II. Ibadan Kraft Books: 244-66.

17. Amali, Idris O. O. (2012)
‘Ododo the Young in the Shoes of the Aged’ In Omoera, Sola Adeyemi, Benedict Binebai (eds.), A Gazelle of the Savannah: Sunday Ododo and the Framing of Techno-Cultural Performance in Nigeria, Kent: Alpha Crownes Publishers: 315-318.

C. Articles in Journals
18. Amali, Idris O. O. (1985)
“Proverbs As Concept of Idoma Performing Arts”. Nigeria Magazine, Vol. 53.3:30-37.

19. Amali, Idris O. O. (1989)
“Idoma-Otukpo Horn Call”. Liwuram. Journal of the Humanities, University of Maiduguri, Vol. 4/5 1988/89: 366-368 A translation of life talking horn call accompanying the Royal Music of Idoma Otukpo.

20. Amali, Idris O. O. (1990)
“Igala Bibliography: A Progress Report”. Africana Marburgensia, (Marburg Germany), vol. XXIII. 2: 48-69. Also Published in Nigeria Magazine. Vol. 57. 1-1 1989: 62-77. This edition has an introduction which is lacking in the one published in Africana Marburgensia.

21. Amali, Idris O. O. (1992)
“Indigenous Nigerian Oral Drama as an Instrument of Social Regulation: A Study of Ogblo Secret Society of Idoma”. Ufahamu, Journal of African Activist Association. Univ. of Cal. Los Angels. Vol. XX.1: 56-67.

22. Amali, Idris O. O. (1993)
“Professor Robert Gelston Armstrong: His life and Contributions to the Research and Documentation of Nigerian Languages, Literature and Culture”. Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blatter (Frankfurt Main Germany), Vol. 5: 65-73.

23. Amali, Idris O. O. (1995)
 “Zaynab Alkali: A Bibliography”. In Ala Bulletin, Vol. 21. No. 1. 1995:38 An announcement of invitation for articles on her works.

24. Amali, Idris O. O. (1997) “The Aesthetics of Insult Poetry: A Case Study of the Performance Techniques of Idoma Ogbllo”. Published in the Book of Abstracts of the 2nd World Congress of African Linguistics, July 27th-3rd August, 1997 at the University of Leipzig, Germany.

25. Amali, Idris O. O. (1997)
“Alekwu Poetry as a Source of Historical Reconstruction. The Pursuit of Idoma –Otukpo Origin, Genealogy and Migration” Ufahamu, University of California (Los Angeles) Vol. XXV.III 1997:17-49. Also published in Nigerian Heritage, Journal of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Vol. 11, 2002:58-75.

26. Amali, Idris O. O. (1997)
“The Image of Women in a Traditional African Society: A Case Study of Idoma Proverbs on Women”. Ujo A Journal of Idoma Studies, Benue State University Makurdi, Vol. 1: 1-17. Also in Proverbium, Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship, University of Vermont, U.S.A Vol. 17.2000: 27-42

27. Amali, Idris O. O. (1998)
“Poetry of Awareness, A Brief Statement on Four Nigerian Poets Osundare, Ugah, Ojaide and Vatsa”. JALAL Journal of African Language and Literature, University of Sokoto. vol. 1.1:72-93. Also published in Okome, Onookome (ed.) Writing the Homeland: The Poetry and Politics of Tanure Ojaide, Bayreuth: Bayreuth University, African Studies Series 60, 2002:97-109.

28. Amali, Idris O. O. (1998)
“History in Oral Poetry: The Idoma-Otukpo Genealogy in Alekwu Poetry: 11” Ganga, Journal of Language and Literature, University of Maiduguri, Vol. 4:81-94

29. Amali, Idris O. O. (1998)
“Proverbs as Concept of Idoma Dispensation of Justice”. Proverbium Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship, University of Vermont. (USA) Vol. 15:13-36.

30. Amali, Idris O. O. (1999)
“Sources of Idoma Proverbs: A Guide to Paremiographers” Proverbium. Yearbook of International Proverbs Scholarship, Vermont. (U.S.A) Vol. 16:1-6.

31. Amali, Idris O. O. (1999)
“Flute Proverbs: The Case of Idoma Aklama Itoodo.” Ujo, Journal of Idoma Studies, Vol. 1. Sept. 1-11.

32. Amali, Idris O. O. (1999)
 “Zaynab Alkali: A Preliminary Bio- Bibliography”. In The West African Journal of Language, Literature and Criticism, Vol. 1.2:69-80.

33. Amali, Idris O. O. (2000)
“Traditional Praise Poetry: A Study of Idoma Alekwu Praise Poetry” Mark Attah (ed;) Humanities and Human Development. A Book of Readings. Dept. of English, Unimaid Vol. 1.38-49

34. Amali, Idris O. O. (2000)
“Publications of Modern Literature in Nigeria: The North and the Rest of Nigeria”. Amali, O. O. Idris (ed.) Let the Down Come: Voices from North-East Nigeria. Maiduguri: Kamel Prints (Pub.) XXIV – XXXIII.

35. Amali, Idris O. O. (2001)
 “Linguistic and Semantic Aspect of Obscene Idoma Proverbs”. Proverbium, Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship, Vermont (USA) Vol. 18, 2001.

36. Amali, Idris O. O. (2007)
 Encounter with Idris Amali, author of Generals Without War. An Interview in Liwuram, Vol. 14, 2007.

D. Idris Amali: Poems In Journals And Anthologies

1. “The Professor”, Kuka, A Journal of the Dept. of English Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 1983.

2. “Cynthia”. Postgrad, A Journal of the University of Jos Postgraduate Students, Vol. 1. 1983.

3. “Our Neighbours” Steppingstones, Journal of Literary Anthology Towards Liberation, New York: Steppingstone Press USA. 1984:12

4-5 “The Call”. (5) “Songs of Ridicule”. Nigeria Magazine, Vol. 53. 1. 1985:8485.

5-6 “Clearance”. (7) “Omikailu”. Nigeria Magazine, Vol. 53.1 1985:87-89.

7-9. “Strands of Blood”, (9) “Nkomo: (10). “Massacre at Dawn” Ufahamu, University of California, Los Angeles. Vol. XIV 1. 1986:37,114,168-69.

10-12. “Our Music”, “Minstrels”, “The Mentor”. African Theater Review. University of Yaoundé, Cameroun. Vol. 1.1. 1986.

13. “Closed Gate”. Liwuram, Journal of Humanities, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria. Vol. 1. 1986: 93.

14. “Anti-Apartheid Situation”. Ufahamu, Vol. XV .1.1.1986-235

15-16. “Baobab” (“Our Neighbours”. “Minstrels”) Nigeria Magazine,
       Vol. 55.1 89.

17. “Lizards by Live Bulbs”. Chelsea, Journal of Literature in
       English, New York, 1987:119.

17-19. “Songs of War”, “Sun at Arms”, “Will”.

20. “The Weaver” Fajar, A Journal of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Borno State Chapter, Vol. 1. 1988:52-54.

21. “Threats”. ANA Review, Lagos, 1988:23.

22-23. “Botched” “Contractor Generals” Presence Africane. Paris. Special Edition on Organisation of African Unity Vol. 146, 1988: 144.145. ANA Review Lagos, Vol. 5.7, 1990: 18, 36.

24-26. “The New Broom”, “Jos”, “Maiduguri”, “Threats”, Okike. An African Journal of New Writing, Nsukka, Nigeria, Vol. 30, 1990: 177-120. (Special edition on Chinua Achebe).

29. “The Stream of Life (A Week of Broken Pains)” Open Ifa Review, A quarterly Publication of Centre Stage African, Univ. of Ibadan, Vol. 1. March, 1993: 33.

28-30. “I sing the songs”, “Don’t You See”? “You Say”. Vultures in the Air. Voices from Northern Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum Books (NAWAO) Production Zurich, Switzerland): 57, 59, 115-116.

31. “The Yellow Shroud of the Sun” “Uwoodufa Keeno” a translation into Idoma Language by Idris Amali of the best poem of the year 1995 in Asian Writer’s Guild Competition, Poem of the year 1995, The Yellow Shroud of the Sun by Athara/ (translated into 60 Languages) Karachi: Tijanti Press Pub. By International Poetry Association Wimbledon, UK. 1995

32. “Jos Rains”, Gombak Review, International Islamic University Malaysia, Vol. 1, Dec. 1996: 47

33-34. “The Rain Has Not Come”, “A Mountain of Desires”. A Visit with the Muse, The Muse, Georgia, 1997: 15-16.

35-36. “Waiters”, “Generals Without War.” A Visit with the Muse Vol. 3. 1998: 16-18.

37-38. “Let them Die”, “Maiduguri”, A Visit with the Muse, Vol. 1. 1998: 24-25, 32.

39. “Ugbodumega”. Liwuram, Journal of the Humanities. Faculty of Arts, University of Maiduguri. Vols. 7/8 1987:71-72.

40-43. “Idols”, “Peace Forgotten”, “Sparrows on Life Wires”, “The Dance of the Rich”: Idris O. O. Amali (ed.) Let the Dawn Come Voices from North-East Nigeria: 53.5.

44. “Lets Count Our Strength”. Liwuram. Vol. 14:117-118.

45. “From the Stairs” and “Maiduguri” In Matatu, Vol. 23-2001, Amsterdam and New York Edition: 123-127.

46. “Back Again” (Beware Senator), and “Let Us” in Adamu, Yusuf (ed.) Pregnant Skies: Anthology of Fifty Nigerian poets, kano: Adamu Joji Publishers, 2003: 48-50. See also as “Back Again” (At the Foothills of Greed). In Garba, Ismail and Ismail, Abdullahi (eds.) Pyramids: An Anthology of Poems from Northern Nigeria, Ibadan: Kraft Books 2008: 41-42. See “Back Again at the Foothills of Greed”, “Peace Forgotten”, In Okoro Dike (Ed.), We Have Crossed Many Rivers: New Poetry from Africa, Lagos: Malthouse Press Ltd. 2012: 224-227.

48-49. “Back Again Lagos”, “Pounding Gwange (Maiduguri) into Rubbles” and “Where Are the Stars?” In: ANA Review Journal of the Association of Nigerian Authors, New Series, Vol. 1, 2012: 8, 41-43 and 47.

39. Tears of Desert War, Kraft Books, Ibadan

 1. Amali, Idris O. O. (ed.)
  Tales of their Passing: An Anthology of Poems on the Nigerian Military, 1960-to date (with over 120 poets), 360 pages.

 2. Amali Idris O. O.
  Zaynab Alkali in Focus: Emerging Perspectives on a Female Voice from Northern Nigeria. Pp. 245.
1. Idoma Names. Over 400 Idoma Name Cards Collected. Some have been interpreted on cassette tapes.
2. Heroic Narratives of the North-Eastern Nigeria. Preliminary data collected. Research to be intensified in the rural areas in due course depending upon the availability of funds. (Applying for international grants).

1. Interpretation of Idoma Dreams: A Research Interview. P. 89. [Idoma Language only awaiting its translation into English].

2. Idoma Taboos. Materials on tapes and largely translated into Idoma language.

3. Idoma Reincarnation. [Materials in hand draft with more cases to be included or cited].

1. Directory on Nigerian Names Phase One. (Materials have been extensively assembled over the years awaiting analysis and presentation. Seeking national and international grants for this important national project). Names of several Nigerian nationalities assembled in their hundreds.
External Examiner: B.A M.A and PhD Degrees
University of Jos, University of Abuja, Bayero University Kano, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
External Assessor : Associate Professor and Professor
University of Jos, University of Abuja, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Bayero University Kano, OAU, Ile-Ife, Nasarawa State University Keffi, Plateau State University, Bokkos Kaduna State University, Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna, Usman Danfodio University Sokoto

1. Borno State Idoma Community Development Association, The Elu of Idoma (in Borno State)
2. Otukpo District Traditional Council Honours, His Royal Highness Chief Dr. John Eimonye Award, the King of Otukpo, December, 2010.
3. Aaogbooko Community Development Association Otukpo, Benue State Award for “Distinguishing yourself as a Professor of Oral Literature and for your immense contribution to Idoma Scholarship”, April, 12th 2009.

1. Association for the Study of the Interplay between Religion and Science, (Based in USA) Nigeria Branch; “Award of Excellence in recognition of your immense contribution to the promotion of constructive encounter between science and religion”.
2. Member, Nigeria Institute of Planning
3. Fellow of the Association of the Nigerian Authors, (Award) 26th October, 2017.
4. Nasarawa State Chapter, Association of Nigerian Authors Award 2016
5. Benue Sate Association of the Nigerian Authors (Award) As an Ambassador of Nigerian Literature, 26th October, 2017.
6. Society of Nigerian Theatre Artist (SONTA) Achievers Award cornferd on me in Federal University Ado Ekiti November 2018.

Selected Publications in Scientific Journals