From Ogbonnaya Ndukwe, Aba
Plans by the Aba South Local Government authorities to convert the Aba zonal library permanent site into a motor park has been described as a distasteful development that will derail the creative attitudes of artisans living in the city.
A group known as Aba Book Club, in a letter to Abia governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, said it was worried that allowing the Council boss to use the site as dumping ground for impounded vehicles, would undermine the building of the zonal library, for which it was reserved several years ago.
In a letter signed by the club’s curator, Nnanna Daniel and Secretary, Ugo Emeodi, the group said the conversion of the state government-owned site to a dumping ground for impounded vehicles and small-holder shops would stop the library’s development and discourage reading culture in Aba.
It further said the move by the Aba South local council was “harmful to Ikpeazu’s rebranding and selling of the Aba brand.
“The Made-in-Aba project is not limited to artisans, but also other creative minds like, authors, poets, playwrights, essayists; etc, who are the think-tank of the Aba society.”
It called on the governor to use his good intentions for the city of Aba and Abia State in general, to stop the repugnant development while urging Aba residents to support the development of the library project which had been on the drawing board for long: “We also call on the general public to support the full development of Aba divisional library through donations of books and other hardware to encourage reading in the commercial city”.
The group expressed sadness over the abandonment of Aba divisional library permanent site on Constitution Crescent (former European Quarters) resulting in its unfortunate conversion.
The club reminded all stakeholders that libraries were necessary within a city to afford users, timely, accurate, pertinent, and reliable information that cannot be dispensed with, adding that they increase the knowledge-base and academic consciousness of a society and enable residents become better through reading even books they cannot afford.
It said that apart from the Abia divisional libraries’ headquarters at Umuahia, the Aba divisional library was next to importance in the State, hence, the need to secure and develop the permanent site.
The Aba Book Club said that the Eastern regional government established the “Eastern Regional Library Board in 1955 which acquired the land which was handed down to Imo State and later Abia on creation and that converting the library’s permanent site to other purposes would amount to destroying the legacies of past governments and their good intentions for the people.”