THE CREDO OF BEING AND NOTHINGNESS
IN ANA OYO
The fact that the Association of Nigerian Authors is the only active writers body in the country presently with over thirty to thirty two state branches across the Federation should not be underrated . ANA OYO on the other hand is the first state chapter which was created in 1988. A landmark in the history of the Association of Nigerian Authors.
According to some ANA OYO Historians, it was Mr. Jare Ajayi, a Journalist, Biographer and Poet who brought ANA into Oyo State. He alongside other members started the organization. They held meetings in places like the department of Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan- Institute of African Studies- University of Ibadan, Bode Sowande’s Odu Themes Meridian Hall, Late Chief Bola Ige’s residence, Late Chief Wale Ogunyemi’s residence, Educare Trust, NSIAC, Ibadan Cultural Studio to mention but few.
ANA OYO has passed through the tenures of many Chairmen with names like: Mr. Jare Ajayi (the first Coordinator), Dr. Mathew Umukoro, Mrs. Adeola Akande, Prof. Remi Raji, Dr. Keye Abiona, Dr. Tony Marinho, Dr. Wale Okediran, Mr. Ebika Anthony,Mr. Abdulsalam el Mubashir and the present Chairman, Mr. Akin Bello.
The State Chapter has recorded greater success in the National arm of the Association by producing three National Presidents namely, Prof. Femi Osofisan, Dr. Wale Okediran and Professor Remi Raji respectively. Also two General Secretaries namely, Professor Bode Sowande and Dr. Wale Okediran respectively. The success recorded by these great literary personalities had carried people away from focusing on the progress and downfall of ANA OYO.
For the past four years now, from 2008-2012 ANA OYO has not being performing very well. It has recorded low-membership, low-attendance of members in meetings, absence of Secretary to attend to the Association’s activities, absence of Young Writers in meetings (to show their inability of reaching out to the younger ones), inadequate circulation of notice of meetings to members and no commitment in getting the works of the members published. For the past four years, the present Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Oyo State chapter cannot boast of publishing a single anthology of poems not to talk of the Chapter’s Newsletter. So many creative talents are dying in the state. No wonder that the present Vice-Chairman of ANA OYO resigned of his executive membership because of poor performance of the present administration.
For almost three and half years now, ANA OYO members have been holding meetings in a restaurant, a beer parlour to describe which belongs to the present Chairman of the Association.
It is the joy of every published writers in the country to hold a particular post in the administration of the Association of Nigerian Authors at both the state and the National level. But in Oyo State the story is different. Instead, people are running away from taking administrative posts. In 2011, it was recorded that only one person got the election form which eventually resulted in the postponement of the election and appointment of interim committee for three months. A great Association like ANA, why do people running away from getting posts, afterall service to ANA is free.
I can boldly say that the good name of Prof. Remi Raji, the failure of Jerry Agada’s tenure, his joint ticket with Dzukogi and his impact on the Nigerian Literature won him the ANA Presidency position and not the support of his state chapter. Barely two months after Professor Remi Raji informed the State chapter of his interest in the Association of Nigerian Authors presidency, some ANA OYO members started accusing him of non-participation in ANA Monthly meetings and non payment of ANA annual dues.
No wonder that Tade Ipadeola refused to mention some names of the present ANA OYO members when he said he knew genuine articles of Razak Gbolahan, Rotimi Babatunde, Yomi Ogunsanya, Kunle Okesipe, Benson Eluma, Niran Okewole, Uzo Dibia, Seyi Adigun. Where are the genuine articles of full ANA OYO members like Folorunsho Moshood, Akeem Ajibade, Abdulsalam el Mubashir, Femi Adedeji, Igudia Osarobu, Olusola Olatunji, Ebika Anthony to mention but few. Only two name are known to me – Kunle Okesipe and Rotimi Babatunde, who are full ANA OYO members out of the names Tade listed.
Due to the bad administration of the incubent ANA OYO regime. Some strong pillars of ANA OYO have not been attending monthly meetings for the past three years. People like Prof. Femi Osofisan, Dr. Wale Okediran, Dr. Tony Marinho, Prof. Francis Egbokhare, Dr. Keye Abiona, Dr. Mathew Umukoro, Mr. Muyiwa Ojo, Tola Oyediran, Mr. Laolu Oguniyi, Dr. Bayo Adebowale to mention but few.
Since ANA OYO election will be holding this coming November, im using this medium to appeal to all ANA OYO members to vote for responsible, dedicated and vissionary leaders who will restore back the lost glory of ANA OYO. Let all members beware of those visionless leaders who are good in preparing manifestoes that will convince people to vote for them but in the end, the will never achieve anything. Don’t let anybody use beer and pepper soup to buy your right. Vote for the right candidates.
Members should also beware of people who will be vying for the chairmanship position. Like a case of a former Secretary of the Association in the state who because of loosing an election for the post of Chairmanship, went ahead and started another association he called Society of Writers in Nigeria. This is selfishness, such a person should not be given any chance to contest for any post. It is against the constitution of the Association.
My advice to the next coming administration is to work towards achieving the followings:
- Open a state secretariat for ANA .
- Get ANA OYO at least a blog where they will post their contact addresses and monthly activities (getting their members updated).
- Create at least a manual database of their members.
- Reach out to the younger ones who have creative writing talents.
- Organizing youth friendly activities.
- Get an appropriate and conducive meeting venue – Restaurant is not O.K.
- Call back some old members of ANA OYO.