Denja Abdulahi’s re-election in ANA : Major challenges he must tackle
By Ademola Adegbamigbe
The country’s body of writers, known as the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), has re-elected Denja Abdulahi as its President. That was at the 36th Delegates Convention, in Makurdi, Benue State last Saturday.
However, as he mounts the saddle for another period of two years, he and his executive members must tackle some major challenges: Funding, administrative “ad-hocism”, royalty for writers and others.
Indeed, Abdullahi has a lot to do for ANA, based on the association’s startegic plan. Moreover, he has to tackle the major challenges facing the association, the worst of which is funding that will help them carry out major projects and take care of recurrent expenditure.
He is also expected to address the issue of adhoc staff since every official is there on part time basis. As the President himself told a Nigeian medium before the election, “The status of the Association currently suggests it is ripe to have a full time compliment of staff to man its secretariat and run its affairs from day to day.” He added: “Presently, we only have one paid clerk in the Lagos Secretariat who is there only to receive correspondence and do other minor tasks. ANA is ripe to have an Executive Secretary and other staff that will be working for it to follow up on earmarked projects and programmes. All other challenges to the operations of the Association are tied to these two major lacks.”
However, Abdullahi has a lot of achievements to his credit in the first term. First, he delivered two legacies projects, the ANA documentary film and The Strategic Plan (2017-2022). He told Daily Trust: “I have given the Association clear focus, more visibility, consolidated on the past achievements of previous executives, democratize its operations, improve on its internal governance and have fast tracked the development of the writers’ village in Mpape, Abuja. It has been an eventful and impactful tenure by my reckoning and I have heard people say that we have done too much within two years.”
Apart from the President, half of the executives were, according to a press statement by the association, returned unopposed to run the affairs of the association for another two-year term.
The new executive members are: Denja Abdulahi, Camilus Ukah, Ofonime Inyang, Ikechi Owabie, Anaele Ihuoma and Issac Ogezi who were returned unopposed as President, Vice President, General Secretary, Financial Secretary, Auditor and Legal Adviser in that order.
Denja Abdulahi came into office in Nov. 2015 for two year tenure, and given his relection now, will be there till 2019.
The press release goes further: “However, the positions of Assistant General Secretary, National Treasurer, PRO North, PRO South and ex-officio members were keenly contested. But the result of the election produced Maik Ortsega as National Assistant Secretary, Mrs. Farida Mohammed as Treasurer, Col. Oladele Babajamu as PRO North, Wole Adedoyin as PRO South, Isah Dan Musa, Lambert Ototo and Ernest Onuoha as ex-officio members.
“The re-elected President, Denja Abdulahi, in his speech after the election thanked members of the association for their support assuring them of his team’s commitment to lift ANA to an enviable height in Nigeria and Africa.
“He said his first major assignment will be to empower members through educative programmes as highlighted in the Association’s Strategic Plan document and to ensure that every member of the association occupies strategic position in the country’s creative industry sector.”