* Abuja chapter felicitates with president, new EXCO, sets agenda
* ‘We will encourage cooperation, celebrate the splendid diversity of our literary heritage’
THERE’S a general feel-good mood within the body of Nigeria and Africa’s largest writers’ body, the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) following the election of its national executive officers last weekend. It put paid to the acrimony that had pervaded the writers’ body since it had its last election in 2019 that had two contending factions. The Denja Abdullahi-Camilus Ukah’s faction would take the rein of leadership of the still developing new national secretariat gifted the body by a former Minister of the FCT, Gen. Mamman Vatsa, now also named after him – Mamman Vatsa Writers Village, Mpape, Abuja. From the last election, it would seem the Ahmed Maiwada’s faction has melted away, as it didn’t show interest in contesting any position. In fact, since 2019 most members of that faction would seem to have given up their ambition to lead ANA or even be involved.
In spite of the fears initially expressed about a possible rowdy electoral process, this year’s election turned out not only peaceful but one that went through a mature process to produce what has turned out to be a unifying cadre of elected leaders generally accepted to the entirety of body of writers. There’s therefore a new mood of buoyancy among members that the association now has another chance for sailing in calm waters in the next two to four years.
Newly elected members include lecturers – president, Dr. Akanbi Usman, vice president, Dr. Obari Gomba and Secretary, Dr. Joan Oji. Others are Assistant General Secretary – ARA Aderinoye, Legal Adviser – Mike Assoh, Treasurer – Stella Toruemi, Financial Secretary – Keyna Eshika, PRO South – Matthew Odono, PRO North – Bala Nagidi, Auditor – Stephen Kekeghe, Ex-Officio 1 – Maik Ortserga and Ex-Officio 2 – Chimankpa Ogbueri.
New ANA President, Dr. Akanbi Usman
In his first official statement after wining, Usman expressed gratitude to all ANA members for reposing confidence in him and other elected officials. His statement reads as follows:
“I am profoundly grateful and deeply honoured to have been elected President of our beloved Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). This election signifies a pivotal moment in my journey within this extraordinary literary community. I extend my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who placed their trust in my vision, elevating me to this role. Your unwavering support and belief are truly humbling, and I am dedicated to repaying that trust with tireless effort and determination.
“As we set forth on this exciting path, I am eager to collaborate with our talented members, our dedicated executive team, and all those who share our profound passion for the written word. Together, we will cultivate an environment that fosters creativity, encourages cooperation, and celebrates the splendid diversity of our literary heritage.
“In the spirit of unity, I want to extend my appreciation to my fellow candidates. Your participation in this democratic process enriches our Association and underscores our shared dedication to its advancement.
“I pledge to be a President for all, transcending divisions, nurturing inclusivity, and ensuring that the ANA continues to flourish as a beacon of literary brilliance. Together, let’s embark on this journey, knowing that the power of the written word has the potential to mold societies and inspire generations.
“Once more, thank you for this extraordinary opportunity, and I eagerly anticipate a radiant future for ANA under our collective guidance.”
IN a related development, the Chairman of ANA Abuja chapter, Mr. Chukwudi Eze, has extended the chapter’s felicitation to the new president of the body of writers, describing his emergence as “a remarkable achievement and we are thrilled to see you take on this new responsibility”.
According to Eze, “We would also like to extend our warmest congratulations to all the other newly elected executives. We salute your passion for literature and its promotion within the Nigerian cultural and literary space. We urge you to work with the state chapters in a robust way to our mutual benefits. We also commend your executive to work responsibly, so that we can all achieve a lot within a short time. It is our belief that given the calibre of people in your exco, you will not fail us.
“Please, don’t forget that state chapters play a crucial role in fostering the growth of literature at the grassroots level and in promoting local talents. By collaborating with them, you can ensure that the reach and impact of the association is maximized throughout the country.
“In unity, your executive can harness your collective knowledge and expertise to drive the success and growth of the association. Mutual support and effective communication between all your executive members will lay a strong foundation for achieving the goals and objectives of the association.
“Be rest assured that the Abuja chapter is ready to cooperate with the national body for mutual success. Together, we can achieve great heights and bring positive changes to this noble association of writers. We are positive about the opportunities that lie ahead and pledge our full support to your leadership.
“Congratulations once again!”
Also, the Lagos State Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA Lagos) has also congratulated Dr. Akanbu Oladipo Usman and the the new Executive Council (EXCO) of the Association of Nigerian Authors. In a statement signed by the state’s Chairman and Secretary, Ifeanyichukwu Avajah and Solape Adetutu respectively, said the chapter felicitates with the new executive, saying, “We wish the team success in office. We wish ANA well. This is a new dawn. Our hope for ANA is as the rising Sun. Now is the time to build upon and improve the legacy laid on the sweat and vision of our founding fathers. We must all rise as a collective, putting aside any past bias and prejudice. Thus, we must uphold the unity, strength and future of our dear association.
“It is now the responsibility of all state chairmen, and the state executives to contribute to the success of our new national executive. We appeal to all members of ANA to collaborate and work together towards an indivisible ANA. ANA Lagos suggests that all previous court cases be withdrawn. Let our shared love for literature and the creative arts bind us stronger, together.”
It would be recalled that ANA Lagos had remained neutral during the last dispensation and did not participate in the association’s activities at the national level. But the last election would seem to have put paid to all that with its congratulatory message that sues for peace and unity and the need for all writers to work together.