By Kingsley Ugwu, Izunna Okafor, Emeka Chiaghanam, Chigozie Anueyiagu, Nkechi Ikenwoke, Charity Uzoagba Chinwendu Uzoatu and Charity Achebe
IT was a literary moment of fanfare over the weekend, as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC), publishers of National Light, Ka Ọ Dị Taa, SportslightXtra newspapers, Sir Chuka Nnabuife thrilled the literary world with the public presentation and launching of three new books amid flurry of renditions from seasoned scholars and intelligentsia.
Held at the National Light Event Hall, Awka, the Anambra State capital, the well attended event also featured the reviewing and unveiling of the three new masterpieces.
The three masterpieces, ‘Homeland Catalysis: More Than Just Anambra Narratives’, ‘Mbize: Rage of Red Earth in Igbo Land’, and ‘Nigeria Civil War (1967 — 1970): Holes in Our Bubbles’ depict the author’s rich treasure of knowledge and explore varying historical and contemporary issues confronting the Nigerian society, Ndi Igbo and Anambra specifically.
Speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Anambra State; Mr. C. Don Adinuba stated that with the contributions of people into the challenges confronting Nigeria’s society, much hopes are there to see a renaissance country.
He said, “Anambra has serious erosion sites. We have about 937 active erosion sites in the state and with the rainfall of last season; it has increased, costing the state more than N1bn to tackle. The Onitsha erosion site costs the state government nearly the same. I am appealing to the federal government to come and assist in fighting this environmental menace.”
Appreciating and congratulating the author, Nnabuife, Commissioner Adinuba expressed great delight that such insightful works are coming out from parastatals in the ministry under his watch.
His words, “This is the third book launch I have been privileged to witness in a very short interval. You will recall that Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) on Wednesday, launched a book chronicling Governor Obiano’s massive achievements in seven years of his leadership of the state. Today’s event is coming less than one week to the Wednesday’s event. We witnessed also the book launch of one of the principal officers in the governor’s media team, James Eze not long ago that treated erosion, and again it is being discussed by a parastatal. I’m delighted to have these great minds working for the state.”
Adinuba noted that the Nigerian civil war story continues to evolve after decades; charging governments at all levels to provide critical logistics for people to work effectively, especially the journalists. The commissioner advocated for a new ideal that promotes hard work and rewards excellence. He cited Pius Okigbo’s point in 1992 under the lecture, ‘ Crises In The Country, where Okigbo highlighted how money has become an influential factor for recognition than intellect and moral.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the author, Nnabuife, who is also a renowned journalist, sculptor, painter, and filmmaker, attributed the success of the work to unflinching desire to work and make the least of time count.
“The only constant factor here is that the hand along the wheel must be willing to work in tedium, toil or fun,” he stated.
Acknowledging that not all interests to the porter counts in the final output, Nnabuife, in a fluid genre stated, “Not all clays engage his wheel but fail to yield the desired pot. Some lumps of the earth land on the creator’s wheel and immediately show him the masterpieces in them. As he plies and pedals, the hidden treasures emerges from the imagination of the potter, through the piece of earth in his hand to the wonderful creation the beholder savours.”
The ANPC boss emphasised that the books appraise, in divers contexts, landmark events, personalities, socio-cultural and political developments in Nigeria’s history, capturing some untold sides of the actors’ takes in fresh and engaging ways, with the primary target of helping posterity make informed decisions and contribute to societal advancement.
Reviewing one of the books, ‘Homeland Catalysis:
More Than Just Anambra Narratives’, the lead reviewer and former Dean, Faculty of Arts, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh described the book, as a bridge between the highly reported metropolitan news and the miserly and most often unreported rural items.
In her words, “the author sweeps at issues prevalent in Anambra, especially those that may not be front liners in main national tabloids. He rigorously picked on and depicted strong socio-political revitalisation and consciousness of the Igbo Nation.”
In his own review of the second book, ‘Nigeria Civil War (1967 — 1970): Holes in Our Bubbles’, Prof P. J. Eze of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, described the book as a firstborn Biafra story, despite many narratives on Biafra by different authors.
“It is an attempt on unusual role of journalism on Biafra,” Eze noted.
Caping it up, the reviewer of the third book ‘Mbize: Rage of Red Earth in Igbo Land’, the Vice President, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, described Nnabuife as a great contributor to addressing environmental problems (erosion) bedeviling the state since 1927.
“Erosion is worse than COVID-19. In 1927, the Europeans camped in Nanka due to erosion. World Bank is now threatening that it is getting out of their control,” he said.
Ogene further noted that the United Nations had already spent about 21billion dollars in combating erosion in Anambra State, while regretting that despite the huge amount of fund put into fighting the problem by the state government, it still looks like pouring a bag of salt into a river and testing the waters to check if it’s salty.
Earlier in his Address of Welcome, the Chairman of the Occasion and MD/CEO, Lake Petroleum Limited, Chief Cletus Mbaji, represented by Mr. Ray Ugeagbara, described Nnabuife as a very resourceful and creative being, and commended him for his foresight and dexterity, which he said he had truly manifested in the three books.
In their separate remarks, the Principal Secretary to Governor Willie Obiano, Chief Willie Nwokoye; the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. James Eze; former Transition Committee Chairman for Nnewi South Local Government Area, Chief Felix Odumegwu; the Director, Anambra State Library Board, Dr. Nkechi Udeze; and the Governorship Aspirant, Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo represented by the National President of Association of Digital Media Core Advocates (ADMCA), Dr. Harris Chuma congratulated the author, Nnabuife, and urged him to sustain the beat in using his talent and creativity to bless the humanity and better the society.
In a vote of thanks, the Chairman of the planning committee, Dr. Paul Ifeanyi, appreciated the committee members and everyone who contributed in one way or the other towards the success of the event, even as he wished Nnabuife greater feats ahead in the literary field.
Dignitaries present at the event include: former Commissioner for Works and Transport in Anambra State, Mrs Chuka Ibeneme; former Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Peter Umeadi; the Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, Anambra State Command; ACM Andrew Kumapayi; Traditional Ruler of Ubuluisiuzo, Igwe John Ozulumba; MD/CEO, Anambra State Health Insurance Agancy (ASHIA), Dr. Simeon Onyemaechi.
Others include: the MD/CEO, Anambra Broadcasting Service, Chief Uche Nworah;
Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Anambra State Council, Mr. Emma Ifesinachi; Veteran Nollywood Actor, Mr. Bob-Manuel Udokwu; the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Petroleum, Chief Peter Nwosu,
Aside entertainments, and other side attractions, the reviewing, formal unveiling and launching of the books formed the highpoints of the well-attended event.
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