THE ENUGU EXPERIENCE: ANA 2019 NATIONAL EXCO ELECTIONS
Following the cancellation of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Executive Council elections held in Enugu State recently, members of the group have described the outgone President (Deja Abdullahi) as one who manipulated the Association’s constitution for personal gains.
According to an eyewitness account, the association, more than ever before, is now destined to be great unlike in the past when the outgone President would get away with all manners of impunity.
“A very large majority of the congress on Saturday resisted the manipulation of the outgone President Denja Abdullahi, leading to the cancelation of the entire process. He is one man who suddenly became more powerful than the constitution of the association that elected him by making laws that suited him and breaking the ones not suitable to him.
“He was resisted by authors without carrying sticks, cudgels, weapons or even a slap from anyone. People stood their ground that the whole process must stop and it stopped. Kudos to the Electoral Committee comprising of; Odia Ofeimu, Professor Remi Raji, Yemi Adebiyi and Udoh Diego.
“They danced to the tune of the general congress which rejected the adulterated and highly manipulated delegate list submitted from nowhere by the outgone president, Deja Abdullahi at Election point without the knowledge of the outgone National Secretary or any of the candidates except his favored candidate in person of his erstwhile deputy, Mr. Camilus Ukah,” the witness said.
The election has been therefore rescheduled to hold within the next three months, venue yet to be announced.
In response to the claims of aggrieved members of ANA, the outgone President issued a statement.
“It is necessary for me at this moment to thank profoundly members of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) for the opportunity given to me to serve as the President of the Association from 14th November 2015- 2nd November 2019. This particular service that just ended was a culmination of my service to the Association without break at the national level in various capacities from the year 2001. I thank members of my outgone National Executive Council and Chairmen of States’ chapters that cooperated with me towards the successes we achieved during my tenure as President. ANA Trustees, members of the National Advisory Council, ANA Past Presidents, Fellows and elders rendered invaluable service as expected to make our tenure successful. I thank the ANA Enugu Chapter and the LOC for providing a convivial atmosphere for the 38th International Convention to hold in spite of all odds.
“Undoubtedly, our administration raised the stake of achievements in office, leading to the increased interest in the Association’s affairs and thereby the unfortunate gladiatorial battles for succession. The 38th Convention that just ended in Enugu from every indication had gone so well like all conventions that happened under my watch since 2016 until my executive council was duly dissolved for the electoral process to commence. What happened afterward was not unexpected as I have had a cause in three separate memos addressed to state chairmen of ANA in the build-up towards the convention to warn them of the sinister plan of some groups of persons to disrupt the entire convention and the election. I equally reported this unholy agenda of those groups to the ANA trustees, National Advisory Council members, past presidents, and other ANA elders. Those who attended the AGM saw all that played out when proceedings were hijacked by imported thugs, strange characters and other persons who insisted things must go according to their ways of seeing it or the elections must not proceed. The various incidences of vote-buying, mobilization of delegates with all sorts of inducements ,social media orchestration of undue attacks on the national executive council, false claims in the media and monetary inducements of journalists against the Association that happened before the convention all pointed out that a well –crafted script of subversion will be staged at the convention AGM.
“Nevertheless, the election that was not allowed to take place by the said group even after forcing the house to agree to “their strangle rule” of having their persons in the electoral committee, should not be read as the end of ANA. ANA has now the opportunity of sanitizing its house that has been invaded by all sorts of strange persons with a very strange appetite for power. The constitutional stipulation should be followed for the National Advisory Council to take over the affairs of the Association in the interim and appoint a caretaker committee to conduct another election within 180 days. For the avoidance of doubt, the members of the National Advisory Council as of today are 1. Prof Femi Osofisan as Chairman, Prof. Jerry Agada(member), Dr. Wale Okediran (member), Prof.May Nwoye Ifeoma(Member) and Hajiya Hafsat Abdulwaheed(member).
“ANA members nationwide should remain vigilant and should not see the election that did not hold as a setback, though the groups that made the election not to hold are presently rejoicing in their camps for the “victory” they have achieved. The elders of ANA must be firm and resolute not to leave ANA at the national level in limbo for any length of time or else the agenda of these sinister groups to kill the Association will come to pass.
I pray that a new ANA National Executive Council is elected swiftly superintended by the ANA elders as constitutionally provisioned with participation by validly constituted members of the Association across the country. ANA members nationwide must be ready to make the necessary sacrifices for this to happen.
For our detractors with the puerile thinking that the election that did not hold will erase our records of service to the association or become a stain on it(as they presently gloat in their incestuous forums),we want to let them know that we are sure of our service to the Association and our place in the eyes of discerning members of the Association and the kindness of history to the service we have rendered.
“ANA will definitely rise from this very temporary hiatus (only at the national level) to be bigger and stronger, that remains my unshakeable faith in the Association.
Immediate Past President, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA)
4th November 2019.”