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Soyinka, J P Clark, others to grace ANA convention in Enugu

Literary giants like Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; popular poet and author, Prof. J. P Clark; famous novelist and the traditional ruler of Ndikerionwu, Orumba…

Literary giants like Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; popular poet and author, Prof. J. P Clark; famous novelist and the traditional ruler of Ndikerionwu, Orumba Local Government Area of Anambra State, HRH, Eze Chukwuemeka Ike; Prof. Earnest Emenyeonu; Prof Anaezi Okoro and other notable creative writers, are among the dignitaries expected at the 38th International Convention of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) in Enugu.

The chairman of the ANA in Enugu State, Mr. Zulu Ofoelue, made this known while briefing newsmen on the activities of the convention scheduled to hold between October 30 and November 3, 2019.

Ofoelue said the convention would inspire Nigerian creative writers to write on themes such as peace, national unity and integration, justice, fairness and love, which would motivate positive changes and help in healing Nigeria and the whole of Africa of wounds inflicted by political acrimony.

He said, “If Nigeria must make any positive change, we must inspire writers who would write things that would usher in creative works on new hopes, national unity and integration, as well as national re-birth.”

He recalled that throughout history, writers have been using their creativity to point to the direction the society would follow, especially in times of national crisis or social uprising. He added that even the first military coup in Nigeria in 1966 was predicted by Chinua Achebe in one of his literary works entitled, “A Man of the People.”

The convention is also expected to attract dignitaries like Justice G.C Nnamani, president of the Court of Appeal, Osita Ogbu and others. “These people have already indicated interest to attend the event,” said Ofoelue, who added that over 400 Nigerian writers within and outside the country had registered.

He said it was remarkable to note that the hosting right for the international convention was awarded to Enugu State by the Mallam Denja Abdullahi-led national leadership of the association after 38 years despite the fact that the ANA was founded at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka by some distinguished Nigerian creative writers under the leadership of the late literary icon, Prof Chinua Achebe.

According to Ofoelue, this year’s theme, Literature, Nationalism and the Poetics of Integration, would be used to direct the minds of creative writers on the need to use their specialised crafts to bring peace in the land.

He said, “The convention and its theme is already tailored to be an inspiration for creative writers and literary icons to use their intellects to influence Nigerians, and indeed, Africans to see the beauty, progress, development and happiness in living in peace and oneness.

“The convention will spend time to discuss and x-ray this and ensure we use creative writing and literature to unite all Nigerians and Africans to be one. We must get cemented as one once again, irrespective of minor differences.”

He further explained, “The ANA expects over 600 critical reviews and creativity on issues of growth of arts, literature, tourism and good governance as it patterns to Nigeria and Enugu State within the first month after the convention and subsequent publications thereafter.

“This year’s international convention, first to be hosted in Enugu State since after founding the ANA in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), will be hosted by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

“The keynote address will be delivered by Prof. Egya Sule of the Ibrahim Babangida (IBB) University, Lapai, Niger State.

“On October 31, there will be a welcome cocktail for all participants, while on November 1 there will be a grand opening ceremony, touring/sight-seeing/literary picnic within Enugu State, as well as cultural night.

“On November 2, the Annual General Meeting of the ANA/business meetings and awards dinner will hold, while on November 3, there will be “Edemede 2019’’ for the local chapter in Enugu State.”

He noted that the convention would improve on the quality of education in Enugu State, from the basic to the tertiary levels and increase the inflow of tourists into the state to explore the peace, serenity and security in the area.

Also, a former chairman of the association in Enugu and the chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the convention, Mr. Ndubuisi Eneh, said although the closure of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport for repairs  would affect the convention, all their members had already registered and they don’t expect them to withdraw their registration. According to him, “Writers being curious-minded people, some of them might even want to come to observe the impact of the closure on Enugu people and reflect it in their future writings.”

Ndubuisi further said, “We want to use the opportunity of the convention to showcase Enugu State and the people.”

Another member of the LOC and lecturer in Linguistic at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu,  Mrs. Ngozi Ezeudu said, “We are also targeting all the schools in Enugu to encourage reading among young people. This is one of the things we are going to do during the convention.”

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