ANA Lagos set to host writers, starts advocacy on reading

Akin Adeoya


Oba Of Lagos, Elejinrin Endorse Convention, Accept To Be Patrons
The executive members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 37th yearly international convention of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), visited Rutam House, the corporate head office of The Guardian Newspapers, on Thursday, to intimate the newspaper house of its events holding at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos from October 25 to 28.

The LOC Chairman, Akin Adeoya, said the three-day event would be unique, especially as it will be hosting over 1,000 writers from the 36 states and Abuja.

He disclosed that this would be the first time in 25 years Lagos State is hosting the convention, adding that the last one it held was in a way dissipated because of the death of the then president of the association, the late Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was executed by the government of General Sani Abacha.

According to Adeoya, the LOC has put together some pre-events activities that will deliver the magic of the state to participants.

With Literature: Megacities And Mega Narratives as theme, Adeoya revealed that there would be a colloquium on digital publishing, stressing that the forum is legacy project designed to immortalise creative spirit of the late Tayo Aderinokun, who promoted and inspired creativity aside actively supporting writing through Lagos chapter of ANA.

He also disclosed that Patrons’ Night, one of the pre-events programmes, would hold in advance of the convention.

According to him, the event will be an assemblage of friends and supporters of the creative writing world in Lagos State.

He informed that the night slated for August 26, will feature the induction of patrons, light entertainment and intellectual discuss on books, piracy, publishing and the use of the World Wide Web as a medium of expression and writing.

Calling on The Guardian to partner with ANA and to promote its activities, the LOC chairman disclosed that other activities line up for the event include mega beautiful Lagos show, feast of literacy and creativity as well as cultural fiesta.

Responding to the question if people still books, ANA Chairman, Lagos Chapter, Yemi Adebiyi, said people still read, adding that technology has provided more options for people of different to read diverse and varied materials on the Internet. He disclosed that apart from hard copies, e-books of different literary works and bookshops where they could be bought can be got from the Internet.

He revealed that ANA Lagos has begun a book reading advocacy programme in secondary schools across the state, adding that the project is, however, bedeviled by government’s bureaucracy.

He noted that the advocacy programme is targeted at making students embrace reading culture.

Meanwhile, the duo of Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Aremu Akiolu I, and the Alayeluwa Oba R. I. Babatunde Balogun, Elejinrin of Ejinrin land, have, on different occasions, endorsed the international convention due to be hosted in Lagos.

Oba Akiolu, the Olowo Eko, as he is popularly known and addressed, said this in his palace in Iga Iduganran, on the Island of Lagos, when a team of the LOC paid him a courtesy visit.

Received by his personal staff in the presence of all the Lagos foremost chiefs, the Idejos and elders, on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, the ANA’s team was warmly received as guests.

Oba Akiolu later narrated the history of beauty and hospitality of Lagos and Lagosians, to the admiration everyone in the palace, insisting, “there is hardly any one among the extremely rich Nigerians in, history, who has not shared in the hospitality and endless benevolence of Lagos gods of wealth,” he said.

The team, which was led by Adebiyi, a biochemist and author, included, Adeoya, Feyi-Abiodun Samson Oyeniyi, politician and Lagos State Chapter’s Public Relations Officer II and spokesman for the LO;, Ms. Yinka Kadiri, Chairperson of Publicity/Media Management Committee as well as Miss Elizabeth Uwandu a writer for Vanguard Newspaper.

According to Adebiyi, the visit to the Oba-in-Council became a necessity, as any responsible individual or organisations cannot afford to organise or hold the an event of the magnitude of ANA internationals convention without letting the Alayeluwa, a prominent royal father to, not only be awared, but be formally informed and involved.

According to Oba Akiolu, in his response, “I pray for a successful entry and exit of all participants at your convention. I wish you success and pray that no evil shall distort or destroy the success of the entire programme,” he said, even as he promised to be at the event, personally, on the first day.

“Out of my tight schedule,” he assured, “I will find time to, not only attend, but to support you beyond the period of the event.”

Adeoya had requested that Oba Akiolu be royal father at the international convention as well as accept the offer to become a Royal Patron of the association.

Earlier, the Adeoya-led LOC, accompanied by Mr. Monday Edet, Secretary, Oyeniyi, and Mrs. Abigail Ohiero, Financial Secretary were at the palace of Elejinrin of Ejinrin land, His Royal Majesty, Alayeluwa, Oba R. I. Babatunde Balogun, the Adetoyese Ejalonibu II in Ketu-Ejinrin, Epe, Lagos State penultimate week.

The Oba gave the team a warm welcome. In response to the request of the LOC team, the Oba promised to give full support to ANA and the upcoming convention as well as ensuring an accommodating relationship with ANA, Lagos chapter, beyond the time of the event.

The team of the local organising committee, after being given light entertainment by the royal family of, in the presence of some Chiefs from Lagos, including, Chief Fashola Savage, the Awishe of Lagos, later went round to view the ancient town and some colonial days facilities which exhibit the historical touch of civilisation and splendour which have been long lost, due to abandonment or negligence from several past federal and state’s government administrations. This, too, was the subject of lamentations by everyone within reach.

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