42nd Int’l Convention: ANA Fellowship not for sale – President 

The executive council of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Thursday, inducted 31 renowned authors as fellows of the association with a declaration from its President, Mr. Camillus Chima Ukah, that the Fellowship is not for sale.

At the induction, which was held at the Mamman Vatsa Writers’ Village, Mpape, Abuja, the pioneer editor and Editor-in-Chief of Blueprint Newspaper, Malam Ibrahim Sheme, a renowned journalist, public scholar, author and poet, Dr. Tunde Olusunle, and King Bubaraye Dakolo, who is the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom and Chairman of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, were inducted.

Others include Prof. Sunny Ijirhevwe Awhefeada, Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura, Prof. Joy Eyisi, and Professor Nuhu Omeiza Yaqub, among others.

Speaking at the event, which was chaired by an Emeritus Professor, Femi Osofisan, Ukah said the new fellows of the association deserved the honour bestowed on them, saying that they had worked for the promotion of Nigerian Literature.

He said: “Our fellowship has never been for sale. We bestow honour on only those who deserve it. We honour those who have worked for the promotion of Nigerian Literature, and we are convinced today that you are all worthy.

“Our fellowship is also building a critical mass for future service. Please, do not hesitate to help the association in any way you can. Our business is the development of our nation-state through literary excellence. We are in it together.’’

King Dakolo, who spoke on behalf of the inductees, expressed appreciation to the association for the fellowship conferred on them, saying that it was a call to duty.

King Dakolo, however, called on the writers to be constructive in their criticisms about the mirage of challenges confronting the country and urged them to write pointedly on issues that would proffer solutions to any identified challenges.

Earlier, a statement issued by the ANA President to herald the conference had quoted Sheme, who is currently the Director of Media and Publicity at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), as expressing his feelings about his nomination as ANA Fellow.

Sheme, who is also a publisher, and bilingual author, said he felt surprised and elated when he heard the announcement, and thanked the ANA leadership for its decision to formally acknowledge his contribution to Nigerian literature and honour him for it.

Like the other inductees, Sheme, has contributed immensely to Nigerian literature and has been involved with literary activism in several ways for about forty years – as a writer, literary journalist, and publisher.

He was also a member of executive at a time, as National Publicity Secretary, when the late Abubakar Gimba was the National President.