Benjamin Omoike l Wednesday, September 20, 2017
MAKURDI, Benue, Nigeria – A five-member delegation from the Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, led by the national president, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, on Tuesday 12 September, arrived Makurdi, the Benue State Capital, to assess facilities ahead of this year’s Annual International Convention scheduled for 26 to 29 October.
The delegation was made up of the Legal Adviser- Isaac Ogezi, the Secretary- Dr. Ofonime Iyang,Treasurer- Mr. Ikhechi Owabie and the Public Relations Officer South- Mr.Olatunbosun Taofeek.
They were received at the ANA State Secretariat located on Number 34, former Alhaji Dash Building, Ankpa Road, Makurdi, by members of the Local Organising Committee for the convention.
Chairman of the LOC, Professor Idris Amali and his Vice, Professor Jerry Agada, along with the Secretary, Dr.Raymond Anumve, Otse Otokpa, Dr.Tartule Tijah, Abo Abgochenu, the State Chairman of ANA, Mr.Charles Iornumbe and Mrs.Dorcas Otalu, among many others, were present at the Secretariat.
The LOC members looked happy and felt a sense of near fulfillment that the 2017 Convention was gaining grounds, especially with the arrival of the National Executive members few days after the LOC met with the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, who approved funds for the event.
Receiving the ANA National President, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, and his team at the ANA Benue Secretariat, Chairman of the LOC for the convention, Professor Idris Amali, thanked the team for the visit, saying it would help in strengthening the commitment of members towards planning for success of the occasion.
Professor Amali told the National Officials that the LOC had put all the necessary machinery in place such as securing venues for activities, hotels and printed some pre-convention materials among other things, for them to make input, and carried out advocacy visits to Individuals and groups to sensitise them about the convention.
The Don at the Federal University Lafia, along with the Vice Chairman of the LOC and former National President of ANA, Professor Jerry Agada, conveyed the Committee’s appreciation to Governor Samuel Ortom for, despite the economic situation, approving substantial funds for the hosting of the convention.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and ICT, Mr.Tahav Agerzua, was also on hand at the Secretariat to welcome the National Officials of ANA, during which he reaffirmed governor Ortom’s commitment to the writer’s body, urging members to continue to develop the knowledge base of the State as the world could partly survive through ideas.
On the second day, the national officials embarked on a tour of facilities where hotels identified, were visited.The team also visited the JS Tarka Foundation, where the arrival cocktail and convention play is expected to hold on the first and second days of the convention respectively.
The team equally visited the Auditorium of the College of Health Science, Benue State University, Makurdi, to assess the venue for the convention grand opening ceremony.
The tour was rounded off with a visit to the Royal Choice Inn, the proposed venue for registration of delegates to the convention, where the 1000-capacity hall proposed for the dinner and award night was also assessed.
Addressing members of the LOC at the Presidential Wing of Royal Choice Inn, Makurdi, the National President of ANA, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, expressed satisfaction with the facilities proposed for the convention.
He stated that in view of the difficult times, it would be better to plan the convention within the means of available resources in order not to incur overbloated expenses in the end, which would cause the LOC sleepless nights.
He advised ANA members against late registration, pointing out that those in the habit of attending conventions and registering on the spot would be doing so this year at their own peril.
“This year is an election year, those coming for the convention must get registered on time as adequate preparations would be made for them, and those in the habit of coming for conventions to gatecrash, would suffer the consequences of their action,” Mallam Denja noted.
He thanked the Benue State Government for approving funds to support the Association to host a successful convention and expressed hope that the funds would be released early to enable the LOC put everything in place before the event.
“It is one thing to approve funds, it is another to ensure their earlier release. We have had situations whereby funds are released a day to our convention which adversely affected planning. But with the commitment shown by your State Governor, we are optimistic that he will release the funds on time so that the best convention ever would take place in Benue,” Denja maintained.