Some writers in Abuja have stressed the need for youths to be acquainted with the history of Nigeria’s past leaders in order to inspire them and preserve the nation’s heritage.
They made the call on the sidelines of the Guest Writer Session organised by the Abuja Writers Forum (AWF) in Abuja on Saturday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the session featured two emerging writers, Madeline Agoba and Chiemezie Onuwubalili.
Agoba, the author of “Ahmadu Bello”, said children were growing up without knowing that Nigeria had good leaders who were principled.
She said there was a need to change the present narrative which was uninspiring for the youths and tell the story of some of Nigeria’s past heroes.
“I decided to tow the line of history because looking at the present narrative of Nigeria the news is full of stories of corrupt leaders.
“I felt this has so uninspired our children and youths and they are growing up without knowing we actually had good leaders.
“Unfortunately our leaders do not stand for anything now. So, I am trying to change that narrative and go back to the drawing board and write about our founding fathers.
“The Sardauna and our founding fathers had values, they stood for something, they were not perfect they had ideals and principles and our children need to hear about those principles and ideals.
“Our children need to have all these things passed on to them, it is not too late,” she said.
Prof. Ernest Agoba, Publisher of the book, Ahmadu Bello, said children in Nigeria do not have people in leadership to motivate them.
He said that the book was to remind children and youths that Nigeria once had great leaders who achieved a great deal for the country.
“The impression presently is that there is no great Nigerian and nobody motivates anyone.
“We want to change that opinion to show that we had leaders who have shown exemplary attributes in leadership and governance, and as such they can look up to such people to become great leaders tomorrow.
“West Africa Hall of Fame Initiative, the publishing firm, uses the publication tool as a means of enlightening them that leadership skills can be acquired by reading about this people.
“Also to understanding their life patterns, so it can be the basis for them to make their reference.”
According to him, the book is a ‘faction’ which is a synthesis of fiction and facts that are expertly put together for a certain age group to understand.
Dr Emman Shehu, President AWF, said that the book was well researched and written.
Shehu said such books would help inspire the future generation of leaders.
Dr Abigail Abemu, Secretary, AWF, said more of such books was needed to serve as a reminder that Nigeria once has great leaders who the youths could look up to.
“I am happy we are having to go back to what our heroes did that held the nation together.
“We looked at their persons and saw their imperfections, they did not give up on Nigeria; the Ahmadu Bellos and Kanu Ibiams etc.
“They were well aware that there were issues even at independence but they did not give up.”
She said AWF had been in existence for 10 years and the Forum promotes writing and encourages people who read to also become writers.
NAN reports that Onuwubalili also read excerpts from one of his short stories ”The Cook”.