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Stakeholders decry dying reading culture

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• Say it affects writing, book publishing

Stakeholders in the academia and legal industries have decried the country’s dying reading culture, saying it is adversely affecting writing and book publishing.

At the 11th edition of the Coal City Book Convention organised by the Delta Book Club in Enugu, they said that the future of the country remained bleak with the abysmal reading culture and urged those in authority to do all that was possible to ignite the culture in the youths.

At the occasion, which featured poetry recital, unveiling of a magazine, “The Writer” and conferment of life awards on some academics, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mrs. Justina Offia, said that the low reading culture in the country was worrisome and advocated for a campaign to revive it in the youths.

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Offia, who wondered how the country could develop with the majority of the youths devoting interests in materials acquisition rather than reading, said that something urgent should be done on the economy to reverse the trend to enable youths focus more on reading.

She described promoter of the yearly convention, Mr. Dilibe Onyeama, as a peculiar person”, stressing that he (Onyeama) had continued to promote reading and writing despite discouragement by the society.

BESIDES, the former Rector of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, Prof. Michael Iloeje, stated that those in leadership must demonstrate that there were gains inherent in reading and writing to enable it be promoted in the country.

Iloeje, who bagged the Olaudah Equiano Life award at the event, insisted that reading was an integral part of any progressive society.

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He said that Onyeama was an “engaging writer who had through his writings canvassed and changed many things about Africa,” stressing that one of his books about his racist experiences at the Eton College, United Kingdom (UK) caused furore and earned him an apology from the institution.

ALSO, a former Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Kelvin Ejiofor, described Onyeama as “a man of quality”, stressing that talents make greatness and should be dividends of democracy.

He encouraged the leadership of the country to promote reading and writing for the society to grow.Principal of the Urban Girls Secondary School, Enugu, Dame Jacinta Ebue, also bagged a life award, just as the Poet, Noble Ojigwe, thrilled the audience with his recital, “The Poem is for you Africa”.

Onyeama said the book convention was to promote writing and reading, especially among the youths of the country, stressing that it was also to encourage hard work.

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