Monday, 16 November 2009

Revealed: Association Of Nigerian Authors, Rivers State Branch "Pocketed"

                                             [Association's President]

chidi opara reports have learnt of murmurs in the Rivers State branch of Association of Nigerian Authors(ANA), also known as "ANA Rivers".

These murmurs, we reliably learnt was because of an alleged "pocketing" of the branch by a writer from the state(name withheld), who is also reported to be very close to the state governor.

A disgruntled member of the branch who requested not to be named "for security reasons", told a network member in Port Harcourt, "try and go to one of the so called meetings they hold and see if you will see anybody there, except his errand boys and mistresses".

Another network member who watched the 1a Wami street Oroworukwo Port Harcourt secretariat of the branch from an eatery opposite on a meeting day counted only nine people leaving the venue after the meeting.

This disgruntled member continued, "the notion here, even at the national headquarters is that this branch belongs to this particular writer and if you don't like it that way, you get out. I have stopped participating in their activities".

Investigation by chidi opara reports revealed that this member was once suspended because of "stubbornness" without recourse to the processes stipulated in the constitution. We also learnt that it took an appeal by the immediate past President, Wale Okediran for the suspension to be lifted.

Further checks also revealed that most members of the branch are not happy with the way the branch is being run but chose not to complain openly for fear of offending the writer in question and by extension, the state governor.

The immediate past nationl executive committee was reported to be unwilling to strengthen things out in the branch because of patronages from the state governent.

"Please don't mention constitution, because we don't see any here. His pronouncements are the constitution", a female novelist whispered to us.

"Positions in the branch are for his mistresses and errand boys", a middle aged male pioneer member of the branch volunteered.

Requests for comments sent to the branch chairman, immediate past President and the President of the Association have not been answered so far.

Mr. Chidi Anthony Opara, a member of the branch and Publisher/Editor-In-Chief of chidi opara reports declined comments when contacted.