All roads will on Thursday lead to the Agip Recital Hall of the MUSON Centre, venue of the 12th Macmillan Literary Night, in Onikan, Lagos. The event is hosted annually by Macmillan Nigeria Publishers Limited. This edition is themed ‘The Rebirth’.

Announcing this in a meeting with journalists recently, the Chairman of the literary events committee, Mrs. Francesca Emmanuel, said the theme reflected the traditional responsiveness of the company to the need to promote positive and productive values that are essential to national development.

As pointed out by Emmanuel, who is also the deputy chairman of the publishing company, Macmillan has consistently and single-handedly sponsored the literary event for the past 15 years as part of its resolve to create awareness for the prevailing socio-economic realities in the country.

The choice of theme for this year’s edition of the Literary Night event, as always, is based on its relevance to the present time and informed by the need to promote a positive change in the general attitude to national development.

Last year, in response to a desperate cry for change in the country, the hosts chose the theme, Fix it – the Nigerian Character. In 2012, it was Break it – Stumbling blocks to National Development. Also, between 2004 and 2010, the various themes had reflected the most pressing developmental challenges facing the country at different times.

In spite of the efforts of the publishing company to draw the attention of the people to such issues, Emmanuel said, Nigerians are yet to reap the dividends of democracy.

Blaming this situation on the absence of goodwill and neighbourly love among Nigerians, she said, “We all know our problems, but we blame others for our failures. We refuse to see each other and every one of us as part of the problem. We distance ourselves as long as we are not directly affected. We are not concerned as long as we can take care of our own needs.

“We amass wealth by hook or crook, stupidly thinking that our wealth will see us, our children and our children’s children through whatever ills that befall our country. All of us – the helpless, the silent, the desperate, the stingy and the greedy – are part of the problem.”

Since society had exhibited symptoms of a looming disaster, she added, it was imperative to focus on a rebirth as theme for the literary night event.

Noting that Nigeria had produced many resourceful, intelligent and talented men and women, Emmanuel said it would be pointless to give up hope at this stage in the country’s history.

“Solutions must be found and we are the ones to do it. There is an urgent need for a rebirth, a change of attitude, a reinstating of our norms, values and tenets, which can have positive impact on our society,” she added.

To press home its message to the people, the hosts have requested the services of some of Nigeria’s outstanding performers, including Joke Silva, Ihria Enakimio and Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, as well as the Crown Troupe of Africa directed by Segun Adefila.

Copyright PUNCH.



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