B. M. Dzukogi, a top contender for ANA National presidency, reeled out his dream to reposition ANA and why he should be elected over Denja Abdullahi.
Why do you think you have edge over your main contender?
It is because of the activities I have done, my antecedents and achievements. When we doing those things, we weren’t doing it because we wanted to contest; we were basically satisfying our urges to help and create platforms that will boost and develop literary arts in Nigeria. But at this point in time, those things must go beyond the ordinary. And when one is in a position of leadership that is when those things can be done very fast.
What are your dreams for Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA)?
They are many. One great dream is to institute the African Writers Summit. I have by the grace of God been able to organize platforms for literary discussions and idea generations like the MBA Literary Colloquium in Niger State, the Northern Nigeria Writers Summit, and so on. Now, this is the ultimate where icons of literature in Africa, those who are living and even those who are not, can be discussed at a general platform that is supreme in Africa. That is one big dream that I seek to fulfill. And I know if I become the president by the grace of God that can come.
Now, capacity building is one thing because there have never been a time that young people are taking on writing than now. In fact, what the elders refused to do in the past by creating those platforms for the youth to grow, the young ones are doing it themselves now. They are in groups now and are growing. What I want to do simply, is to join them. I know individually, we have our own platforms that we have created for young people. But this is the time that their capacities can be built better than what we have now. Being in a position of leadership can enhance that.
And the Nigerian society needs to know exactly where we are as writers because in the past, writers in Nigeria have voices. Now it appears there is no voice because we are simply not talking about national issues. This is the time. We are not going to shy away from national issues. We are going to be active participants in the discussions and in recreation. So this presidency will also afford us the opportunity to return the Nigerian writing community to its past glory by our activisms, which we are used to.
Who are your team?
The vice president is from Anambra, Ngozi Chuma Ode. And we have the treasurer, Yemi Mahmud, from Ondo state. The current secretary-general, Tanko Okoduwa is in my team too. I have Abdulaziz Abdulaziz as the PRO. I have Nigidi, Financial Secretary. And there is Moses from Benue state is going for Assistant Secretary. I have a team as I always do.
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The team we formed in 2011, everybody won because they know us. The team is on ground and by the grace of God, we shall sail through.
What do you want to be remembered with if elected ANA national president?
They are many. For example, if I am able to do the African Writers Summit, that is one thing. Also, I can see that ANA Kano has more young writers than ANA Niger. So, in my line of action which we are going to use in the convention, we are going register National Association of Teen Authors where each chapter will now have an appendage of young ones coming up, until they can be able to break into the mainstream ANA.
Even the regional groups’ activities will be intensified. Because if you decentralize, it means you are accelerating developments. I believe you will remember me for so many good things.
Why are you restricting it to just teen authors?
That has been a tradition in ANA Niger already. When I became the General Secretary of ANA National, I took the programme to the national level. And the wife of Niger state governor gave us N1 million which the national secretariat used to do anthology for five states where only secondary schools children were published. Beyond the Limits was the title of the anthology.
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ANA Niger is famous for that teen author thing. And now, we are saying all chapters should have something similar because ours is a success story. You know, from the children you gave birth to becoming authors and being recognized as such; from the ones you taught in primary and secondary schools becoming authors, and so on is something extraordinary. In the past it was only adults that were writers. Institutionalizing this art of teen authorship is one way that can accelerate growth of writing.
In any case, it is natural that there should be regeneration or generation; that is from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood and then aging. It is the same thing in writing too; from teen authors, to young authors to established authors. That is all we are doing. Just to make sure that there are structures for young writers to grow.
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And that is the way we can enrich our society with ideas. That is the ultimate. We are documenting and proffering ways in which human beings in a society or community can behave very well, and then we are also entertaining. It is even the noblest of things that can be done because even when God wanted to speak to human beings, He had to bring down books.
So what else can be nobler than the art of penning down something? And if this is it, then the art must be standardized. That is just the reasons. So that growths can be faster than what we have now where people only depend on state chapters; and there are other who are writing individually. Once there is a system or institution, everything becomes stabilized.
Thank you very much!
Thank you too.
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