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With Abuja book convention, Abubakar Gimba lives on

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The late Abubakar Gimba, author of the famous, Witnesses To Tears, Sunset For A Mandarin, Sacred Apples, Footprints among other titles. Image source EbonyLive tv

No less than 500 people from all walks of life recently converged on Idris Abdulkadir Auditorium, National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja, for the maiden edition of Capital Territory Book Convention.

Late illustrious writer and former president of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Abubakar Gimba, was immortalised at the book event organised by Delta Book Club, led by Dillibe Onyeama.
 
The programme began with a remark by the Executive Secretary of NUC, represented represented by Mariam Saleh, who congratulated the family of the late literary icon, saying that his works would last for a lifetime, as his messages are still reflected in the Nigeria socio-political environment today.

Also speaking, President of Delta Publishers, Onyeama said Gimba was an endearing person, and said it was necessary to sustain relationship with his family.

He reminded all of Gimba’s death on February 25, his burial the next day and the importance to have his immortalised on 27th.  Onyeama stated that Gimba’s books titled Trails of Sacrifice and Witnesses were his most successful works and had sold thousands of copies since publication.

Onyeama described Gimba as a ‘one in a million,’ whose policy of spicing his writings with messages for society vindicated his company’s description of the Minna-born author as ‘the Northern answer to Achebe and Soyinka.’ 

Also, while delivering the first Abubakar Gimba Lecture Series, Prof. Mnguember Vicky Sylvester of University of Abuja, noted, “The focus of Gimba’s books is an apt statement of the tension in the country and, as Ezra Pound aptly notes, is a ‘biography and connected discourses’ of colonialism and indignity, anger with leadership and a plea with his children not to support injustice or renege on their cultural value.”

She announced to the students in attendance that further to Abubakar Gimba Convention, copies of Trails of Sacrifice would be distributed to schools for inter-secondary Schools Book Chats and competition. 

Former General Secretary, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), under Gimba, Dr. Wale Okediran, reminisced on Gimba’s cheerful disposition and his doggedness at work. He disclosed that it was Gimba who ensured that Association of Nigerian Authors got the Certificate of Occupancy of ANA land in Abuja.
 
Also, the first winner of Abubakar Gimba Literary Award was Akintunde Oyalobi. His work, titled Nostalgia, is a tale of contemporary domestic challenges, was reviewed in glowing terms by Mallam Aminu Sheikh Muhammad.
 
There was also a performance by Reginald Ofedili, ANA winner for short story in 2017, who rendered two of his poems.

Gimba’s family members also shed light on their relationship with their departed member with emotions. Aisha, his daughter, said her father left them with some words of advice, which emphasised family and friendships.

His brother, Dr. Suleiman Gimba, stated that Gimba was more like a father than a brother to him. He said Professor Abubakar Rasheed was in the best position to talk about his brother, as they were good friends until his death.


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