Association of Nigerian Authors ,ANA, Advisory Council Chairman ,Professor Femi Osofisan have appealed to ANA members on the unfortunate incident that happened in Enugu,which made it impossible for a set of new Executive Members of ANA to be inaugurated.
In a news release sent to the press for publication, former President of ANA, Professor Femi Osofisan told ANA Members
‘l believe that you are all aware by now of the unfortunate, if not shameful, debacle that ended the last annual convention of our association at Enugu. An otherwise successful reunion, from all reports, was marred in the end by a fierce and acrimonious jostling for posts, especially at the presidential level, such that the elections had to be suspended.
‘This means that, for the first time in our history, we find ourselves in a situation where there are no formally elected officers for the association.
Fortunately however, our constitution has been prescient on this—it mandates that, In such a situation, the advisory council should take over the running of the affairs of the association for a maximum period of 180 days, and to organize within this period the proper election of officers.
I am therefore writing you now in my capacity as Chairman of the ANA Advisory Council. The Council, after extensive consultations, has come to the following decisions
‘The acrimony which led to the scuttling of the elections in Enugu is unprecedented, and is to be condemned in the strongest terms. Sanctions must now be added to the constitution to pre-empt and punish any such recurrence in the future;
‘The council accepts with all responsibility the burden of arranging elections for the various empty posts as soon as possible and within our mandate. Towards this end, it has reviewed the events at the last Convention and decided as follows.The Electoral Committee set up to handle the elections was illegal, and is hereby dissolved. Nowhere is it the norm, nor has it ever been our practice, for candidates at an election to be the ones to nominate the electoral committee. At best they can nominate their observers to supervise and defend their interests, but not to directly handle the election itself’
Professor Osofisan noted that the new electoral committee is now set up which, as the Constitution prescribes, shall consist of former presidents of the association who are available, plus some selected female members who are willing, and any others that may be co-opted.
He noted that a lot of debate has gone into this, and the final list consists of the following:
Dr Jerry Agada (Chairman)
Prof Olu Obafemi
Dr Wale Okediran
Prof Remi Raji
Prof Akachi Ezeigbo, and
Prof May Nwoye.
The Electoral Committee which is free to make its own rules and co-opt whoever else it needs to carry out its assignment successfully.
ANA Members are also free to send them suggestions and ideas, but the Committee is in no way bound to accept these or be guided by them.
Professor Osofisan noted that it is now entirely within the prerogative of the Committee to decide who shall now be allowed to contest for the available posts. Thus, for instance, they will decide whether any of the contentious candidates who brought ANA into ignominy shall be allowed to participate in the new process; whether a new voting list of qualified ANA members is needed from the chapters; or, indeed, whether the new officers to be chosen shall be in office only in an interim capacity, till the next convention, or shall be considered formally approved as de facto officers.
Professor Osofisan appealed for calm and maximum cooperation for the Committee from ANA members while the committee carry out what is really not an easy task of restoring order and dignity to the Association.