Following the lackluster attitude of Nigerians to reading, a young Nigerian, Pastor Stanley Edokpolo, in conjunction with others, is creating a revolution to bring back the reading culture into Nigerian lives, with the theme, “Bring Back The Book”.
The event which was kick-started with a literary contest and rally amongst schools in Rivers State (Port Harcourt metropolis) since January 2012, came to a climax on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at Silverbird, Port Harcourt.
Earlier the event was followed with road rally with all the participating schools carrying placards with different messages supporting reading culture on Friday, March 9, 2012, starting from Garrison and terminating at Silverbird cinema, Port Harcourt, the venue of the programme.
Some of the messages on the placards read as follows; “Join the reading revolution,” “Read and keep reading,” “Avid readers see Ahead,” “Nigeria will have K leg without readers,” “Call back the reading culture,” “readers are leaders,” “Reading transforms the mind,” “Not reading is a sin against yourself.”
The pupils and students were at their best chanting songs to emphasize the importance of reading, Whizkid Montessori School Azuabie, Trans Amadi, Phalga LGA. It was indeed a beautiful sight to behold seeing students and pupils demonstrating while walking pass the streets with their messages.
On Saturday the terminal day, prizes were given to deserving schools, primary, junior and senior secondary schools.
Speaking to The Newswriter, the initiator of the project, Pastor Stanley Edokpolo, who is also the author of “Teach us how to fish,” disclosed that he would not rest until Nigerians put up reading attitude in their lives.
When asked how he came out with such a giant initiative, he responded that he sampled opinions of both secondary and university school leavers whether they knew the book called Concubine, authored by Dr. Elechi Amadi. To his surprise, all have not read the book and did not know whether such book and author exist. He pointed out that the revelation inspired him to embark on the bring back the book revolutionary campaign project.
He further revealed that the bring back the book revolutionary campaign project will be taken to the rural areas. Stanley Edokpolo appealed to both adult and youths to at least read a paragraph or page for a day before going to bed.
Ninety schools participated in the literary contest. The project also attracted lots of authors both far and near, notable amongst them are Blessing Otobo, who traveled down all the way from America her base, just to support Pastor Stanley Edokpolo achieve this noble dream. Angela Anietie, Dr. Elechi Amadi, Dr. Femi and others.
Speaking as Guest of Honour, Dr. Elechi Amadi also advised Nigerians to imbibe reading culture into their lives stressing that reading maketh a man in the society.
Also speaking to The Newswriter, the project manager, bring back the book project, Michael David Ibeawuchi, revealed that the project will be an annual event as plans are underway to partner with both government and corporate organizations to see the project achieve its aim.
Lots of sponsors made the project a success. Prominent among them are Silverbird Port Harcourt, Indomie, Chanrai, Cocacola, Grand malt, PCRC RVS and Nigeria Basic Development Authority. ##
Allanso Jonathan Allanso