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ANA crisis deepens as factional president rejects council’s intervention

ANA crisis deepens as factional president rejects council's intervention

One of the factional presidents presently laying claim to leadership of the Association of Nigerian Authors, (ANA), Ahmed Maiwada, on Monday rejected intervention by the national advisory council of the union.

Breaking his silence, via a release sent to PREMIUM TIMES, he said the association, embroiled in a leadership tussle since its botched election in November 2019, currently does not have an advisory council.

PREMIUM TIMES reported earlier how the council, headed by renowned author, Femi Osofisan, on Friday waded into the crisis that has ripped the association apart in recent months.

The council, in a statement, also indicated its support for one of the two factions laying claim to the presidency of the association after an acrimonious election in Enugu in November 2019.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the association was torn into at least two factions after two controversial elections held in 2020 after the botched event.

The two factions, led by Mr Maiwada and Camillus Ukah, have refused to yield any ground despite interventions by prominent members of the association. Mr Maiwada has kept mum since the crisis worsened in recent months.

A third group also exists, which does not recognise the two and this has further polarised the association.

Mr Osofisan, on Friday, said the Camillus faction is the duly elected executive committee of the union.

The council, which was reportedly set up by members of the association in 2012, was drafted to douse tension and ensure a new election was held after the Enugu fiasco.

It subsequently set up a new electoral committee headed by another professor, Jerry Agada, to conduct new polls which held in July 2020. Mr Ukah was elected during the election in Makurdi, Benue State.

Earlier, another election held in March in Abuja where Mr Maiwada, a former legal adviser of the union, was ‘elected’.

Maiwada’s reaction

Mr Maiwada, who had declined comments in the earlier reports, however, reacted to the development in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday.

He said the Osofisan-led committee which claimed to have initiated the process that led to the emergence of Mr Ukah as the union’s president does not exist legally. He also dismissed the contents of the report.

Denja Abdullahi, the immediate past president of the union, who backs the Camillus faction and Mr Osofisan, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES earlier, insisted the council was formally set up in 2012 and was empowered to wade into the crisis rocking the association.

But Mr Maiwada said although the union’s constitution permits it to have an advisory council, this had not been set up yet and even if it had been, there were processes to be followed in any intervention it makes in the association.

”Professor Femi Osofisan opens his “Report” that has been making social media rounds with a big claim: “I am pleased to present this report to you in my capacity as the current Chairman of the ANA National Advisory Council as authorised by the 2012 Constitution.” However, it is unfortunate for the Professor that members of today’s ANA are so educated on the Constitution of their dear Association that they know ANA doesn’t have an Advisory Council, not to mention having him as Chairman,” Mr Maiwada said.

”When did the Association appoint Professor Femi Osofisan as Chairman of ANA Advisory Council; when did the Association appoint the others (whoever they may be) as members of the ANA Advisory Council? To my knowledge, all legitimate requests by well-meaning members for minutes of the meeting of ANA where Professor Femi Osofisan and those claiming to be members of ANA Advisory Council have not been answered.”

He also said all actions taken by the Osofisan-led council since its intervention in 2019 were illegal.

Going down memory lane on the crisis that has torn the association, he said his executive that was set up in March, this year is the legitimate one.

”Professor Femi Osofisan gave reasons for the delay by his illegally constituted an electoral committee in conducting the illegal elections in Makurdi that purportedly brought the illegal National Executive Council headed by the Denja Abdullahi’s anointed candidate, Mr Camilus Ukah. Notably, none of those reasons included a pending court action instituted by the lawfully constituted National Executive Council that was elected into office on 7th March 2020.”

He also said the action of the council was tantamount to approving a ‘renegade group’ led by his rival, Mr Ukah.

”I know that the enlightened members of ANA of today have not fallen for this, knowing already that Professor Femi Osofisan neither had any duty assigned to him and his busy-body crew members by the members of ANA, nor any responsibility to render any report to the said ANA members.

”ANA members know, however, that Professor Femi Osofisan and his gang have, by this “Report” done nothing other than endorsing a renegade group that has so far exhibited no respect for the laws of our dear country.

”I know that the members of ANA, who Professor Femi Osifisan assumed he could trick in his “Report”, shall not hesitate to hold accountable the Professor and all those he has used to unleash a shocking desecration of the grund norm of our dear Association, which is the ANA 2012 Constitution. Until then, I know that members of ANA, who are clearly law-abiding Nigerian citizens, will not join Professor Femi Osofisan and his gang of “godfathers” in their on-going illegality, so that nobody should be joined in the contempt proceeding coming on anytime from 7th September 2020, when the FCT High Court shall return from an annual vacation,” Mr Abdullahi added.

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