Uyo Book Club is a group of Akwa Ibom intellectuals poised to encourage reading culture and at the same time offer platform to satisfy reading hunger while using the tool to x-ray issues militating against the growth of the state and proffering solutions.
The Network of Book Clubs and Reading Promoters in Nigeria (NBPR) has unveiled Uyo, the capital city of Akwa-Ibom State, as Nigeria’s first National Book Clubs City.
This was announced by Mr. Richard Mammah, NBPR’s Interim President, in a Zoom meeting of stakeholders on Friday 23 April 2021.
This announcement thus accords Uyo the hosting right for the first ever National Conference of Book Clubs in Nigeria, which comes up in September 2021.
According to Mr. Mammah in his address, he said the choice of Uyo had come after NBPR members properly deliberated and considered the merits of consolidating book activities in one location for a whole year so as to achieve greater traction.
In his words:
“As we make history today, many advocates who have gone before us on this track have longed and worked towards a time when Nigeria would be a massive field of book clubs that are contributing their quota to the educational enrichment of the citizenry and the well-being of the nation. In cities, towns and communities across the country, bands of book enthusiasts have always gathered to read and share experiences on the books they treasure,”
He said the Book Clubs City will serve as focus hub and anchor for the composite reading promotions activities of the group between 23 April of the awarding year and 22 April of the following year.
To him, the focus and desire is that the chosen city, its friends, residents, governments, businesses and publics would rally round their anchor Book Club in the city to organize and drive a year-long carnival of books and reading, more books and reading, and even more books and reading.
Dr. Udeme Nana, Founder and President of the Uyo Book Club, in his acceptance speech expressed gratitude to the network for the honour and pledged that the club would do all within its power to justify its choice.
He also mentioned that a book, Village Boy , written by a member of Uyo Book Club and launched by the club recently in Uyo, has been selected as one of the books for the UN SDG’s Book Clubs Reading list as announced on the occasion of the 2021 World Book and Copyright Day. He also added that the ultimate objective is to refine the sensibilities of people in the belief that people whose sensibilities are refined make for better citizens and a better society.
While commenting on the development, Mr. Dare Oluwatuyi, President of the Booksellers Association of Nigeria, wished NBPR well in the task of driving aggregated reading promotions in Nigeria amongst book Clubs and through investing one city annually as a National Book Clubs City.
He also commended members of NBPR who have, in the spirit of synergy and collaboration, signed up as ambassadors for the UN SDGS Book Clubs African Chapter, which the entire industry is championing at the moment and for which an impressive launch has already been recorded. He called on other NBPR members who have not done so to also sign up.
Dr. Uwemedimo Udo, Chairman of Uyo Local Government Area, and Chief Uchenna Cyril Anioke, President of the Nigerian Publishers Association, also pledged their commitment to work with the NBPR and the Uyo Book Club in delivering on the set mandates.