The National Advisory Council of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) on Friday waded into the crisis that has ripped the association apart in recent months.
The council, in a statement, also indicated its support for one of the two factions laying claim to the presidency of the association after an acrimonious election in Enugu in November 2019.
The two factions, led by Ahmed Maiwada and Camillus Ukah, had refused to yield any ground despite interventions by prominent members of the association.
A third group also exists, which does not recognise the two and this has further polarised the association.
A release signed by the chairman of the association’s advisory council, Femi Osofisan, on Friday, however, said the Camillus faction is the duly elected executive committee of union.
The council, which was earlier set up by members of the association in 2012, was drafted to douse tension and ensure a new election was held after the Enugu fiasco.
It subsequently set up a new electoral committee headed by another professor, Jerry Agada, to conduct new polls which held in July 2020. Mr Ukah was elected during the election in Makurdi, Benue State.
Earlier, another election held in March in Abuja where Mr Maiwada, a former legal adviser of the union, was ‘elected’.
But on Friday, Mr Osofisan also said the election that brought in Mr Ukah was the legitimate one “backed by the ANA constitution and processes”.
“There are more stories to tell, most of them unsavoury, and you undoubtedly know most of them already. So there is little point setting them out again here. Suffice it to say that in spite of it all, our mission has been successfully completed. The new ANA Executive has been elected and duly sworn in now. As already announced, they are:
“Camillus Ukah-President(ANA Imo), Maik Ortserga – General Secretary (ANA Benue) Farida Mohammed – Vice-President (ANA Niger), Freeman Okosun – Asst. Secretary (ANA Oyo), Stella Touremi – Treasurer (ANA Bayelsa), Chimankpa Ogbueri – Financial Secretary (ANA Rivers), Matthew Taiwo – Auditor (ANA Kaduna), Wole Adedoyin – PRO South (ANA Osun), Umar Kakamu Aliyu (ANA Nasarawa) – PRO North (ANA Nasarawa), Bentex Torlafia – Legal Adviser (ANA Nasarawa), Charles Iornumbe- Ex Officio 1 (ANA Benue), Odono Matthew – Ex Officio 2 (ANA Ebonyi).”
The statement was co-signed by Olu Obafemi, a professor; Odia Ofeimun, Wale Okediran; and professors Akachi Ezeigbo, May Nwoye, and Remi Raji.
Messrs Osofisan, Okediran, Ofeimun, and Agada confirmed the authenticity of the statement when called on Friday. Mr Raji’s line was switched off while the reporter was unable to reach the other three.
Meanwhile, Mr Maiwada, when contacted same day, said he was yet to see the said statement, which PREMIUM TIMES subsequently sent to him. He later responded: “it’s not published. I can’t react to what I can’t confirm as authentic”.
Also, Chike Ofili, who represents a third group within the association which does not recognise any of the factions, is yet to respond to a text message seeking his reaction to the development.