The Enugu State Government and the beautiful Coal City will to host over 500 top writers and literary figures from Nigeria and across the world, when the 38th International Convention of the Association of Nigerian Authors berths in Enugu this October.
The three days, 38th Annual literary fiesta of ANA, which has been tagged “Homecoming Convention”, is scheduled to hold between October 31st – November 1st, 2019, and this year’s convention will have an added spice because it will be an Election Convention.
ANA general elections hold every two years and this convention will usher in a new Executive to take over from the Alhaji Denja Abdullahi led exco, which completes its constitutional two terms this year, having been on seat from 2015-2019.
Already, robust campaigns, especially for the coveted position of ANA President, have been rolling across the country, with the front line contestants; including Mr. Chike Ofili, Barr. Ahmed Maiwada and Dr. Camillus Ukah, visiting several state chapters and even appearing on a special ANA organized programme, to market their ambitions and pitch their unique selling leadership points and manifestoes to members of the Association.
Comrade Zulu Ofoelue, the Enugu State Chairman of ANA, is not leaving any stone unturned as he and his executive, working in tandem with the local organising committee and the ANA Convention Central Working Committee, put finishing touches to preparations for what many writers are enthusiastically anticipating to be one of outstanding assemblage of writers, in a city already celebrated in the pantheon of literary folklore, not only for its historic heritage as the forge where the necessity of ANA’s critical essence was fashioned and honed, but indeed for iconic wordsmiths and narrative griots, whose story telling prowess arguably birthed modern Nigerian literature and whose stylistic influence has transcended generational epochs and continues to resonate loudly even in the literary offerings of succeeding generations.
To put the efforts of Comrade Ofoelue and his team in proper perspective, it would be recalled that a delegation of the ANA National EXCO, including the Vice-President, Camillus Uka, ex-officio member, Ernest Onuoha and Asst. General Secretary, Maik Ortserga, were in the Coal City for two days in early September, to meet with the ANA Enugu Chairman, Comrade ThankGod Ofoelue, and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Chairman, Hon. Ndubuisi Ene, on a verification visit and ascertain their level of preparedness for the convention as regard venues confirmation for listed and sideline activities, as well the recommended hotels to cater for guests/members accommodations.
The National delegation was left in doubt that Enugu was ready for the 2019 ‘Home coming’ Convention, after the series of meetings, which held at the African Thinker’s College of Education.
Motivated by the very poignant realization that his leadership was on the cusp of a historic moment, primed to occupy a definitive chapter in the annals of ANA chronicles with this ‘Homecoming Convention’, the ANA Enugu Chairman convened a follow up press conference to that session with the National delegation, on Monday, 14th October, 2019, where he gave an update on preparations for the Convention.
Addressing newsmen on the planned convention, Comrade Ofoelue noted that although ANA was formed in 1981 in Enugu State, this is the very first time the annual convention is being hosted by the state, after its formation.
Reeling out the calendar of events, he lamented the paucity of funds facing the organisation, but expressed hope that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi will play a good host to writers who are coming from across the world to attend the novel event.
The Press Statement is published in parts here:
“Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) presided over by Mallam Denja Abdullahi, has awarded the hosting right of the 38th International Convention in Enugu State and the Enugu State Chapter of the Association to Enugu State.
Consequently, on the 28th of June 2019, a Local Organising Committee (LOC) chaired by Hon Ndubuisi Eneh was inaugurated by the National President to work with the Enugu State Chapter to actualise a successful and meaningful convention.
This year’s International Convention will be the first to be hosted in Enugu since after the founding of ANA in Nsukka in 1981 and will hold between the 31st of October to 3rd November, 2019.
So we have tagged it, “ANA Homecoming 2019,” since the Association is returning home to its original base.
The convention which is an annual ritual, has the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu), as Chief Host. He will also declare the convention open. As at today, over 400 of Nigerian’s best and foremost creative writers, literary critics, journalists, members of the academia and other stake holders, have registered to attend the convention in Enugu State.
The theme of this year’s convention is: “Literature, Nationalism and the Poetics of Integration”. The keynote address will be delivered by Prof E.E Sule of the IBB University, Lapai, Niger State.
The programme of the International Convention are as follows:
Thursday. 31st October, 2019:
ARRIVALS/WELCOME COCKTAILS: An evening of Palm-wine, Poetry, Folklores & Festival of Life (8 pm)
@ Sunshine Hotel and Guest House, Plot 8/9 Ebe Ano Estate, New Haven Junction, Enugu
Friday, 1st November, 2019:
1. GRAND OPENING CEREMONY
@ International Conference Centre, Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Independence Layout, Enugu. 9am.
2. TOUR ROUND ENUGU/SIGHT-SEEING/LITERARY PICNIC – 2 pm – 5 pm
3.. CONVENTION PLAY/ CULTURAL NIGHT: 7 pm
Featuring an adaptation of Death and the King’s Grey Hair by Denja Abdullahi @ International Conference Centre, Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Independence Layout, Enugu.
Saturday, 2nd November, 2019:
AGM/BUSINESS MEETING: 10: 00 am- 2:00 pm @ International Conference Centre, Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Independence Layout, Enugu.
CLOSING/AWARDS DINNER: 7: 00 pm – 10. 00 pm
@ Justice Umezuluike Auditorium, JC Ugwu State Court Complex. (by WAEC Junction), Independence Layout, Enugu
Sunday, 3rd November, 2019: DEPARTURES
Preceding the International Convention will be the Enugu State convention tagged “Edemede 2019”.
It would feature literary activities, performances and seminars holding at Coal City University, Abakaliki Road, Emene Enugu on the 29th of October and Godfrey Okoye University on the 30th of October.
It is expected that by hosting this international convention and the Enugu State convention would be in the limelight of National discuss in literary creativity and criticism, promotion of indigenous culture, tourism as well as peace and good governance.
Consequent upon the quantum of delegates already registered and expected, ANA expects over 600 critical reviews and creativity on issues of growth the arts, literature, tourism and good governance as it patterns to Enugu State, within the first month after the convention and subsequent publications thereafter.
The convention would also have a very positive impact on the rising education quality in the state from basic to tertiary level.
Commercial activities in Enugu State would be beefed up by the inflow of tourists from all parts of the world. It would also be an opportunity for participants and visitors to enjoy the unique modern infrastructures and the peaceful & conducive environment provided by the dynamic government of Rt Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
ANA Enugu State being the host branch, wishes to solicit the support of the state government, corporate bodies, philanthropists and lovers of literature, arts and education towards financing and successful hosting of this grand International Convention.
We also solicit specially the support of members of the fourth estate of the realm to ensure its success.“