Uyo to host 700 delegates at 1st National Book Clubs Confab in Nigeria

Dr. Ekong Sampson (m with mic) addressing the press straightnews
Dr. Ekong Sampson (m with mic) addressing the press

More than 700 delegates from different parts of Nigeria are expected at the first-ever National Book Clubs Conference in Nigeria holding in Akwa Ibom State.

Organised by National Book Clubs and Reading Promoters Conference (NBRPN) in partnership with Uyo Book Club, the conference will hold from 16 to 18 September, 2021 at the exquisite Watbridge Hotels & Suites, Uyo, Akwa Ibom capital.

The conference has as its theme The place of public libraries in this age of E-book and the challenges of social reading.

Addressing members of the press on Tuesday, September 14, in Uyo, Dr. Ekong Sampson, the Chairman of Local Organising Committee, said ”The conference will attract eminent writers, readers, policy makers and the general literati across the globe. In all, a total of about 700 delegates are expected at the conference, with many among them coming from outside Akwa Ibom.’’

Sampson who is also the Patron of the Uyo Book Club stated, ”Thousands are also expected to join via zoom. It will feature presentations by over 40 book clubs in the country, exhibitions, cultural fiesta, recreational activities, tours, book reviews, drama, interactive sessions, and publications, among others.’’

According to him, ”The festival will feature over 40 Book and Literary clubs drawn from across Nigeria and at the converge, Uyo is expected to officially declared as Nigeria’s Book Clubs city, a rare honour, not done any Nigerian city before.

”The Book Fiesta will feature reviews, keynote speeches, tours, presentations by various clubs, spoken word, festschrifts, drama, cultural variety, Mbuk Nnyin – Our Stories, local delicacies.’’

The legal luminary stated ”Interestingly, a Book Village and galleria where authors, vendors and exhibitionists will display varieties of books will also be an interesting side act during the conference.

”The Opening Ceremony comes up on Friday, 17th September, 2021 by 10 a.m. It will be chaired by Chief Assam Assam, SAN, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Russia while Prof. Felicia Etim, University Librarian, Federal University, Otuoke will be the keynote speaker.

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”Equally, renowned writers and intellectuals including Dr Wale Okediran, Dike Chukwumerije, Des Wilson, Ini Iteh, Moses Ibanga Akpabio, Joe Ushie, Ekong Sampson, Ofuma Agali, Udeme Nana, Precious Semaediong, Anietie Usen, Martin Akpan, Aniedi Etim, Ndueso Young, etc will all serenade the conference with their stories and presentations,’’ he announced.

The former state House of Assembly member for Mkpat Enin has, therefore, invited members of the press and indeed the general public to attend and be a part of history.

The founder of the club, Dr. Udeme Nana harped on the need for the people to embrace the reading culture to wipe away ignorance and other negative vices from the society.

Nana acknowledged that reading is a nobler habit that should be cultivated by all than being involved in dirty politics and cultism.

Dr. Martin Akpan, the chairman of Akwa Ibom Primary Healthcare system, noted that those who do not read always are at the backwater of ignorance and underdevelopment, advising the public to cultivate reading habit.

Meanwhile, Akpan, a medical doctor has promised to provide adequate medical services for the delegates.