When writers joined security discourse
IT was an unusual gathering when writers, academia, traditional rulers, security agencies and business persons converged on Ibadan last Thursday for the third edition of the All Nigerian Writers’ Summit on Peace and Security organised by the Oyo State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), under the chairmanship of Mr Funso Omotoso, with active partnership of the Department of History, University of Ibadan.
The theme of this year’s summit was ‘10 Years of Amnesty as a Solution to Peace in the Niger-Delta’ and it provided the platform for the participants to brainstorm on the impact of the amnesty deal brokered by the late President Musa Yar’Adua a decade ago.
The keynote address, which was delivered by a business executive, Chief Habeeb Okunola, dwelt on the impact of the amnesty deal on the oil industry and the country’s economy.
The organisers of the programme also used the platform to acknowledge the contributions of various security outfits to the sustenance of peace in the Niger Delta in particular and in the nation generally by giving them the ANA award of peace advocates.
Also, the book, Nigeria and the Challenges of the Niger Delta Crisis, written by the state ANA chairman was launched at the event.
While receiving the award on behalf of thelate President Yar’Adua’s family, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman in Katsina State, Honourable Salisu Majigiri, expressed the family’s delight at the recognition which also reflected the peaceful legacy of the late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, who was represented by Major-General Habila Vintenaba, expressed his appreciation at the synergy between writers and the nation’s security outfits, especially as the book on the Niger Delta crisis chronicles an important historical phase, not only of the nation, but also of the military.
Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Shina Olukolu, received the award on behalf of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
Olukolu revealed that the award made him to understand that their service to the nation was being recognised and appreciated.
Given awards were the late President Yar’Adua and former Katsina State governor, Ibrahim Shema; Chief of Defence Staff, General Olonishakin, Group Chairman, Metropolitan Broadcasting Services, Engineer Owolabi Oladejo; Group Chairman, TILT Group of Companies, Chief Okunola; Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), Mr Gana Muhammadu.
Also at the event was the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdulganiyu Adekunle Salau.
The programme, billed to hold at the Lady Bank Anthony Hall at the University of Ibadan, was almost scuttled by the last minute closure of all the gates leading into the university by striking members of staff of the university. However, it was not to be as the venue was shifted to the Educare Trust facility located in Samonda.