3rd October, 2022
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, has called on all institutions, departments of government and non-state actors responsible for the promotion and institutionalisation of democracy in the country to work assiduously to ensure that the 2023 election is free, fair and credible.
The body made the call in a Communique jointly signed by Anaele Ihuoma, Dr Ndubuisi Ogbuagu,Chief Adi Wali after a two-day International Conference in honour the renowned literary giant,the late Elechi Amadi it convened in partnership with and the Rivers State University in Port Harcourt.
ANA also asked for vigilance and commitment on the part of the electorate to ensure that election results as announced reflect their wishes.
The body also urged the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to immediately enter into honest dialogue (not dialogue of the deaf), to end more than eight months’ old strike of university teachers.
It urged the federal government to meet the legitimate needs of the striking teachers and to accord education the budgetary priority it deserves in the overall developmental scheme of Nigeria.
ANA also lamented the prohibitive cost of production and distribution of books in the country and called for a review of policies that impact the book industry. In particular, the Association ask for review of tax and other incentives for the local production of newsprint/printing paper , as well as a tariff waiver for the importation of same.
ANA notes with sadness, Federal Government’s insensitivity to the problem of book production and distribution in Nigeria, as exemplified by the prohibitive cost of moving books from one location to another.
“We, therefore, urge the government to support the efforts of Nigerian writers to distribute their works through instituting a supportive tariff for book distribution.
The Authors said federal Post Office system should not charge the same amount for a kilogramme of books and a kilogramme of cigarettes being moved from Lagos to Abuja, especially for a country that wants to promote reading culture as well as for Nigerian books aiming at the global market.
They called for similar conferences can be organised in future to honour other Writers in Rivers State and Nigeria, whether living or dead,young or established.
The Authors also called on the Rivers State University to establish a Centre of Excellence named after Elechi Amadi to immortalize him and his works.
ANA commended the Vice Chancellor and the management team of the Rivers State University for the able leadership in steering the affairs of the Rivers State University and in bring the institution to global limelight.
“We demand democratisation of education in Nigeria through the implementation of policies such as the abolition of prohibitive examination fees for WAEC, JAMB and UTME examinations.
“We call on all institutions, departments of government and non-state actors responsible for the promotion and institutionalisation of democracy in the country to work assiduously to ensure free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria in 20239.
“We call for vigilance and commitment on the part of the electorate to ensure that election results as announced reflect the wishes of the electorate.
“We condemn acts of violence, terrorism and criminality in any part of the country and call on those who sponsors and/or abet such acts to immediately desist from their nefarious activities.
The international conference drew participants from several parts of the country while eminent writers and book industry personalities sent in goodwill messages.
The theme of the conference was: “Elechi Amadi, Literature and The Nigerian Socio-Political Environment”