By: Ibrahim Malumfashi
I am not generally a political man or politically inclined activist, but at the same time I am not apolitical. One cannot claim neutrality in a show that one way or the other he must be affected by the actions and in actions of others. Since I joined ANA I have consistently stayed away from active participation in the running of its activities at my State or National level. Basically because I see my role as that of go-between, I am more involved in nurturing generations of writers and critics. In that respect one can say I am involved in the creation and sustenance of the muse fraternity, one way or the other. So why bother! But like I said the miasma surrounding ANA right now is fast becoming darker, murky and incomprehensible. Year in, year out, ANA is seemly appropriating for itself a yearly ritual or tradition toga, it is an annual jamboree where writers converge to see their faces and once again go back into their hermit. The only time probably we see and partake in flurry of activities is an election year. After the elections what do you see or hear or consume yourself in? Well virtually nothing!
Consequently, what is happening right now is a repetition of history. It is an election year once again, and the guns are all out! This time around, with bask of euphoria that another ANA Exco has failed, so a new set is needed, a new set? I feel this time around we need to appraise the conundrum better. We need to look inwards and outwards. There is the need for transformation and change of attitude. There is the need for makeover. I mean from all of us, the leaders and the followers in ANA. We need to sanitize the association. Rebuild it using the blocks the founders of the association used. Recently I have done some readings, and brainstorming with myself. What I saw and learnt from the history is not palatable. There is schism, lack of focus, deliberate underperformance, lack of funding or capital and motivation to execute capital projects that will have direct bearing on most writers and what not; we have to salvage this noble profession. Was it not the aim of the founding fathers of the association to make writers whole and create a forte for all of us so that we can talk with one voice to achieve laudable goal and aspirations? I am sure Chinua Achebe, Abubakar Imam, Wole Soyinka, and such pioneers of this cauldron of ideas, (where ever they are) are not going to be happy to see us in this mess! Our later greats; Odia Ofeiman, Abubakar Gimba, Nimmo Bassey, Zainab Alkali, Obi Nwakanma, Wale Okediran and host of them scattered all over the world, I am sure are also worried and will not allow the association to die, in a corrosive way. What is your stake in this? Are you also worried? What then can we do? We have to proffer solutions, soon!