By Damiete Braide, Lagos
Bad leadership is the problem in Nigeria and except we solve these problems, Nigeria will continue to have stunted growth.
Co-founder News Watch Magazine, Mr Ray Ekpu made this known during the book launch of ‘The Patriots: Conversations with Nigeria’s columnists and public intellectuals on dividends of democracy, governance, leadership and nation building)’ by Femi Kolawole, which held in Lagos.
Ekpu, Chairman of the occasion said, “we have a country where the universities are shut for seven months but the leadership have done nothing to stop it.
“They are arresting the growth of the country and when they do so, they arrest the growth of education.”
He enjoined Nigerians to query politicians when they come to campaign and there should be no smooth talking. Rather, ask how they will do what they have promised and they should explain it.
Richard Mammah, President, Network of Bookclubs and Readers Promoters in Nigeria (NBRB), who reviewed the book, said books are important to the nation-building process and “I will add also, their reading.
“This is more so as it is one thing to write and publish a book but it is another for patrons and readers to open the pages and read through, particularly at a time like this and in a clime like ours, where we grapple with very troubling a-literacy, information overload and reading culture challenges.
“It is on this score then that the author should be commended for the massive work done in this book; in reaching out to such an array of busy professionals, sitting with them to share their perspectives and thereafter going back to process the materials gathered so as to give us the tome that we have come here to receive and probe today.”
He disclosed the book has 17 chapters, with each chapter focussing on a particular columnist/public intellectual, The Patriots is a rich potpourri.From the mercurial Are Afe Babalola to the Newswatch fathers: Ray Ekpu, Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed, Soji Akinrinade and Dare Babarinsa; and on to Dr Muiz Banire, SAN, Professor Jibrin Ibrahim, Eniola Bello, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, Sam Omatseye, Ikechukwu Amaechi, Festus Eriye, Frank Meke, Owei Lakemfa, Azuka Onwuka and Olukorode Yishau, it is a very brilliant and unputdownable spread of very enriching discourse.
Kolawole told the gathering that the book is an effort to document the stories of Nigerian columnists and public intellectuals with the hope of celebrating these agenda setters and opinion moulders for their selflessness, patriotism and laudable contribution to nation building.
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