Enugu is set to host Association of Nigerian Authors,ANA, 38th International Convention between 31st October and 3rd November, 2019 with the theme ”Literature, Nationalism and the Poetics of Integration.”
The Convention which tagged ‘ANA Homecoming 2019’ as the first ever convention happened in the University town of Nsukka in 1981 when the Association was established by the patriarch of Modern African Literature, Chinua Achebe and others. Since that time a convention of the Association has never been held in Enugu State though other States in the South East like Anambra and Imo have held ANA National Conventions in the distant past.
Earlier in June 2019, after Enugu State Chapter of ANA was granted the hosting right,members of the National EXCO of ANA including the President, Mallam Denja Abdullahi and the Vice-President, Camillus Uka, visited Enugu to inaugurate the Local Organising Committee(LOC) headed by Hon. Ndubuisi Ene.
Recently in September,2019 a team from the National Executive Council were in Enugu to assess the preparations on ground to host a befitting convention in which new officers will be elected to man the affairs of the Association at the National level as the Denja Abdullahi-led executive council will bows out of office.
The team comprising of the Vice President, Camillus Ukah, Ernest Onuoha, ex-officio and Maik Ortserga, Asst. General Secretary, were in Independence Layout, the proposed central venue of the convention to meet with members of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and verify their level of preparedness by confirming the venues and the recommended hotels for delegates and guests’ accommodations.
In a Press Conference addressed by the Chairman of ANA Enugu State Chapter, Zulu Ofoelue on Monday the 14th of October,2019, he stated that 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. He stated that as at the day of the Press Conference “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 Keynote Speaker to the Convention is Professor E.E.Sule of the IBB University,Lapai in Niger State. The Special Guest to the Convention is Professor Ernest Emenyonu ,a Trustee of ANA and Editor, African Literature Today, who is coming all the way from America to attend the convention. Three new Fellows will be inducted for the Association at the opening ceremony. They are Prof Zaynab Alkali,Prof J.O.J Nwachukwu-Agbada and Prof Remi Raji,all distinguished writers and scholars and members of the Association. The Governor of Ekiti State,Dr John Kayode Fayemi is also to be conferred as a patron of the Association at that same opening ceremony.
The programme of the International Convention were reeled out by the Cahirman as follows:
Thursday. 31st October, 2019
B. 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
A. GRAND OPENING CEREMONY
@ International Conference Centre, Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Independence Layout, Enugu. 9 am
B. TOUR ROUND ENUGU/SIGHT-SEEING/LITERARY PICNIC – 2 pm – 5 pm
C. CONVENTION PLAY/CULTURAL NIGHT: 7 pm
Featuring 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:
A. AGM/BUSINESS MEETING: 10: 00 am- 2:00 pm @ International Conference Centre, Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Independence Layout, Enugu.
B. CLOSING/ LITERARY PRIZES 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: DEPARTURE
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.