Sadly, the most prestigious literary award in literature in Nigeria comes from the same group of people who killed one of our own and who have constantly destroyed our environment, our economy and our intellectual framework. The same people, according to Nimmo Bassey, who live on the blood of the Niger Delta people. Unfortunately, our writers have consistently followed this disgraceful development with tight lips. Everybody scrambles for awards. $20,000 USD was enough to buy our souls, our conscience and our rights! Incredible!
Disgracefully, the president of ANA, Dr. Wale Okediran, has often campaigned for support to this literary suicide. I do not wish to insult my elder, but it is necessary that we advice our elders whenever they seem to throw caution to the dogs. Selfishness is one of the major diseases that the present ANA executive is suffering. To them, whatever brings about the 'cash' should be supported, undermining our conscience and our sensibilities. Adding to this is the fact that NLNG award is never organised with the input of ANA, the foremost and the most recognised association of writers in Nigeria. ANA is even hardly recognised in LNG programmes. They moronly follow each LNG program like the proverbial dog eating the crumbs that fell from its master's table. They follow unrecognized, unacknowleged.
To add salt to injury, General Babangida, is invited as the Special Guest in this year's NLNG award. IBB is an enigma, a destroyer of intellect and a habinger of illegalities. To be in LNG Award is to remind us that we are still victims of what we have been fighting to eliminate. IBB and Nigerian literature are two parallels that should never never merge. I call for a boycott of this year's NLNG award by Nigerian writers and to advise that a more credible company than LNG should be called into this literary business. This is the time to shop for a credible partner....
Tony C. Oha
26 September 2007
*Writer's image © Tolu Ogunlesi