*Welcomes ANA newly-elected executives
The Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA)’s National Advisory Council, Professor Femi Osofisan, has warned over the crisis rocking ANA at the National level, as he welcomed the newly-appointed executive members of the association.
In a press release signed by him and other members of the Advisory Council, Professor Osofisan spoke on how the last ANA National Convention in Enugu that would have produced the new Executive of ANA was aborted.
The council said: “Following this development—a situation quite unprecedented in the history of our Association—the Advisory Council was contacted, through me as its Chairman, to resolve the crisis. This, if I may point out, is in line with our constitutional role.
“I immediately set to action, and consulted all the available members of the Council, only to find out, sadly, that none of us was present at the Enugu meeting. This then obliged me to call for eye-witness accounts from some of those who were there. But these accounts were, perhaps not surprisingly, often contradictory and dilatory, always depending on the roles that each witness played in the confusion.
“I was told, for instance, that one of the reasons that the election failed was that the candidates themselves were the ones who chose the electoral panel; that several delegates who were not qualified to vote were admitted into the assembly; that surprisingly, shamefully, money was being used to induce voters; that some people decided to sabotage the procedure by having NEPA switch off the light at a critical moment; etc.”
Prof. Osofisan further condemned those trying to take ANA land in Abuja as there were accusations and counter-accusations on it, saying some of these people were ready to break up ANA if their demands were not met.
“It was due to this and many other allegations that the Advisory Council decided that the best way forward was for ANA to organize a completely fresh referendum, in order to give everyone a fair chance,” he said.
“Hence we decided to quickly set up an election committee made up exclusively of former presidents of the association. Then, when we realized that there was only one female here, namely Prof May Nwoye, we had to appeal strongly to Prof Ezeigbo to join the committee since she was in Enugu and seemed to have been trusted by all parties there.
“I have to say here that it was no easy task putting the committee together. Each one was justifiably afraid to have his or her reputation soiled by disgruntled parties. (As you all know, this has been our experience so far, unfortunately). But after much begging and appealing, the following panel finally agreed to serve, just to rescue the association, and as I said, totally at their own expense, without any compensation whatsoever. They are, as follows:
Prof Jerry Agada- Chairman
Prof Olu Obafemi
Dr Wale Okediran
Prof Akachi Ezeigbo
Prof May Nwoye, and
Prof Remi Raji
“They were given the mandate of setting out the modalities for a new election, and then organizing an emergency general meeting to carry it out for us.“
Professor Osofisan noted in the release that after this was done some ANA members tagged him as being bias calling him a stupid elder and all sorts of names.
“Barrister Maiwada for instance gave me a very long call, ending with the threat not to cooperate with the Advisory Council unless some members of the Electoral Committee were removed, and some others included. Others also came in with their own pre-conditions. But, given the criteria used to set up the Committee, it was obvious that their wishes could not be entertained without our being accused one way or other of prejudice. It was best to leave the composition of the Committee as it was.
“Preparations were then begun in earnest for the EGM and the elections. Money as expected was the major problem, since we had no funds whatsoever to carry out the assignment. So, the committee was asked to use its good will to appeal to individuals and private bodies and any other sources it could find to assist in the assignment, while we others sent in whatever we could afford.
“This of course delayed things considerably, and before we were ready, two unfortunate things happened—first, the Maiwada group began a massive campaign of calumny and abuse against us, jumped guns, and went ahead to organize an illegal election in Abuja, openly defying the injunctions of ANA’s Board Of Trustees.
“Secondly, a terrible epidemic, of unprecedented ferocity, descended on the world, spreading fear and panic everywhere, and disrupting our normal way of life. This Corid-19, as the pandemic has come to be known, shut down the entire country, and brought all activities to a halt. “ Professor Osofisan noted
Professor Osofisan said it took some time for the EGM/Elections to hold. Indeed, they held at last only because of the political weight and influence of the committee’s chairman, Prof Jerry Agada, former minister of education of the Federation. As already announced, the new Executives are
Camillus Ukah-President(ANA Imo), Maik Ortserga – General Secretary (ANA Benue) Farida Mohammed – Vice-President (ANA Niger), Freeman Okosun – Asst. Secretary (ANA Oyo), Stella Touremi – Treasurer (ANA Bayelsa), Chimankpa Ogbueri – Financial Secretary (ANA Rivers), Matthew Taiwo – Auditor (ANA Kaduna), Wole Adedoyin – PRO South (ANA Osun), Umar Kakamu Aliyu (ANA Nasarawa) – PRO North (ANA Nasarawa), Bentex Torlafia – Legal Adviser (ANA Nasarawa), Charles Iornumbe- Ex Officio 1 (ANA Benue), Odono Matthew – Ex Officio 2 (ANA Ebonyi).
“Therefore we, as the National Advisory Council, have fulfilled our duty to you our members, and to our founding fathers. ANA can now resume its forward march.” Professor Osofisan concluded
Members of ANA National Advisory Council also include:
Other members of ANA National Advisory Council are Professor Olu Obafemi, Odia Ofeimun, Dr Wale Okediran, Professor Akachi Ezeigbo, Professor May Nwoye, and Professor Remi Raji.