The National President of the Poets In Nigeria, PIN, and coordinator of the 2019 Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA’s 2019 presidential debate, Eriata Oribhabor has described this year’s international convention as a gargantuan shame for writers in the country.
Mr Oribhabor stated this while reacting to the just-concluded convention and the election of executives of the association which was declared inconclusive, following reportedly cases of irregularities and vested interests.
In his Facebook post, titled: “What Wasn’t What”, Mr Oribhabor narrated how the convention came under ruination, lamenting that, “the beginning of the end of a national ANA would be a compelling reality that writers in Nigeria would have to live with if the Association doesn’t come out stronger than it was before the gargantuan shame called ANA 2019 convention”.
Read Mr Oribhabor’s post below:
ANA 2019 CONVENTION – “WHAT WASN’T WHAT”
1) The outgone President was alleged to have singlehandedly drawn up a list of electoral delegates who should vote a new national Exco.
2) The said delegates’ list was opposed by members who claimed to be tactically disenfranchised.
3) Candidate No 1 (outgone General Secretary) who was also a presidential candidate, strongly opposed the mentioned list because it ought to have been compiled by his office for ratification by the Exco – not a secret document.
Since the process that produced the list was faulty in his opinion, he called for the postponement of the elections.
4) Candidate No 2 stated that, since the list of delegates was prepared by the President and faulty, it was foolhardy building something on nothing. He supported the postponement of the elections.
5) Candidate No 3 (outgone Vice President) stated that it was possible for the observed error to be corrected. Drawing from a parable of “his people,” the only issue that is irreparable is bringing the dead to life.
6) Candidate No 4 stated that, to have come thus far, the way forward was for the elections to hold after the dinner-at-midnight which was practically impossible.
7) Since two candidates were for postponement of the elections, while two wanted its continuation “anyhow”, a member of the electoral committee, Remi Raji expressed the need for the outgone Legal Adviser Isaac Ogezi to speak from a constitutional standpoint. The legal adviser cited certain portions of ANA constitution and reiterated his earlier submission to the electoral committee – the elections should be postponed.
8) The electoral committee’s position to meet with Chairmen from the respective Branches was announced by Professor Remi Raji.
9) At this time, the venue was lit by popular lamps, phone touches and phone camera flashes.
10) The chairman ANA Enugu – a key member of the LOC announced repeatedly that the hall must be vacated because the Association had overstayed her welcome. He also stressed the need for members to move straight to another venue where dinner was served.
11) One of the anchors of the convention, who was overflowing in his own sweat, reechoed the announcements of the Chairman, ANA Enugu. He threatened that, security personnel of IMT Enugu was ready to forcefully push us out of the venue.
12) Members “touch-lighted” their ways out of the hall. Some quietly went to their hotel rooms to rest after a long day.
13) Notwithstanding the fact that not everyone was ready for a very late dinner, the dinner venue was jam-packed with members who grabbed any available space to sit. Interestingly, none exhibited shame. There was a decorum.
14) The outgone president was nowhere to be found but Remi Raji who was to be honoured during the day, was handed a plaque in the midst of confusion.
15) On behalf of the electoral committee, Remi Raji announced the agreement of all Chairmen for a 180 days postponement of the elections.
16) Members of Electoral Committee Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo (Chairperson), Odia Ofeimu, Professor Remi Raji, Yemi Adebiyi and Diego Udoh (members).
The beginning of the end of a national ANA would be a compelling reality that writers in Nigeria would have to live with if the Association doesn’t come out stronger than it was before the gargantuan shame called ANA 2019 convention.
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