By Henry Akubuiro
The current President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Mr Camillus Ukah, and his predecessor, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, were received at the State House, Abuja, recently, by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina. They were accompanied on the trip by Ms Salamatu Sule, an Abuja-based writer.
The visitors informed the presidential spokesman of the 40th anniversary of ANA scheduled to hold later in the year, designed to be a 10-city event that “will promote resilience of Nigerian writing and literature.”
They also discussed good governance and the importance of writers in the society. Denja Abdullahi echoed: “Writers are in eternal romance with the nation. They are great ambassadors of our country. They believe Nigeria is a great country, and the future is bright.”
When writers visit personalities, they often go along with books as souvenirs. So did the ANA entourage at the State House. While Camillus Ukah gifted Adesina the latest edition of ANA journal, ANA Review, Abdullahi gave him a copy of a festschrift in his honour entitled Of Foot Soldiers and Hybrid Vision.
The visit was one of Ukah’s plans to reposition ANA. He told Daily Sun: “The reception at the State House was very warm. The characteristic humanity in the writer was clearly on display in the conduct of the presidential spokesman. His enthusiasm for the support of literature was palpable.”
He called on all hands to be on deck to move the association forward following the recent favourable court judgement confirming his legitimacy:
“ANA is illustrious, and the association’s nobility cannot be taken away by one moment of crisis; thank God for the decisive intervention of that landmark judgement. The way forward is progressive addition to the giant strides made by our past leaders, and all creative hands are needed.
“ANA is one big family with enough room for repentance and reintegration. The work of propagating the importance of literature in national development is enormous, and the more labourers in the vineyard the more bounteous the harvest.”