Jonathan Hails Amaechi’s Achievements; Amaechi Has Made Nigeria, Africa Proud -Abubakar …Gov Shown Education’s Way To Go -Ikuru …PH Now On World Map -Peterside


President Goodluck Jonathan has said the designation of Port Harcourt as World Book Capital 2014 by UNESCO was major a achievement that had made it a centre of enlightenment and scholarship.
Jonathan, represented by his Special Assistant on Documentation, Mrs Molara Wood, made the remark in Port Harcourt at the opening ceremony of Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014 on Wednesday.
He said that the achievement also made the city as one going forward. “We can all build upon it to reinforce the reading culture.
“It can also improve the value of getting information to the development of the thought process for humanity.’’
He commended the movers of the bid for the World Book Capital 2014, adding that it was a visionary endeavour that saw Port Harcourt beat 10 major cities of the world, including the renowned educational city of Oxford.
He also commended the Rainbow Book Club under the guidance of Mrs Koko Kalango “who worked tirelessly towards this investiture that is clearly unprecedented in Sub-Saharan Africa.’’
Jonathan also commended the Rivers Government for supporting the Rainbow Book Club and making the event a success.
He said he launched the “Bring Back the Book“ campaign in recognition of the importance of scholarship to the quality of youths and society shortly after assuming office as President,
“The Bring Back the Book initiative was conceived as citizens’ framework to be driven by Nigerians themselves.
“Port Harcourt has for many years been a pivot of book and literature centre of discussion as well as melting pot for writers and artistes whose works helped enrich our lives.
“It is against this background that the Federal Government threw its support behind the Port Harcourt World Book Capital bid.
“It is to the glory of our collective effort that the shared golden dream of the Rainbow Book Club and the entire readership and literary community for this city, has today been realised.’’
Jonathan commended the World Book Capital programme, saying that it was rich and varied and would touch every age group, especially the youths.
“ It is heartening to note that the international dimension will ensure that these activities will resonate around Africa and extend to the global book world.
“For the first time, the shortlist for the prestigious Cane prize for African writing is being unveiled in Nigeria, right here in Port Harcourt as part of World Book Capital event.
“ Without doubt, the writers on the Cane shortlist will number among the future torch bearers for writings from the African continent’’, the president said.
In his keynote address, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, said the fight against terrorism was a collective responsibility of Nigerians.
Soyinka said: “the edict and fatwas of Boko Haram are worthless and dangerous; Boko Haram destroys books and destroys the institution.
“The book fair today is a powerful statement of the rejection of the Boko Haram’s fatwas; the mission of the book fair, as an agency of enlightenment, cannot be compromised by dictates, implicit or covert of its country mission.“
Former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) in his speech commended Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for his revolutionary ideas in the state education sector that have now won the state its current World Book Capital status.
He made the commendation while speaking as Chairman of the occasion for the opening ceremony of Port Harcourt as World Book Capital for 2014 at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
He said Rivers State has done both Nigeria and Africa proud by becoming the World Book Capital this year after beating several other countries in the bid for the world book capital.
“Let me use this opportunity to congratulate the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and indeed all Nigerians for this historic nomination as World Book Capital 2014 which is coming as Nigeria celebrates its centenary.
“Your Excellencies, the city of Port Harcourt has indeed done Nigeria and Africa very proud by clinching this nomination (as World Book capital 2014). What makes this selection of Port Harcourt even more momentous is the fact that the city vied for this honour against many better known cities such as Oxford, Lyon, Moscow. Port Harcourt has therefore brought a great pride to Nigeria and for this we are most grateful.
“The Government of Rivers State under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi deserves commendation and praise for his revolutionary intervention in the state education sector.
“The evidence of the government’s intervention can be seen in the model primary (and secondary) schools scattered across the state. Equally impressive is the fact that the state investment in school infrastructure has been matched by solid investment in teachers’ welfare and training. Congratulations, Your Excellency”.
He acknowledged that Port Harcourt over the years had attracted several famous writers and book lovers to the city through its annual Port Harcourt Book Festival and wished the state would use its tenure as World Book capital to impact on the rest of the world.
“Port Harcourt over the last few years has become a haven for book lovers. Since 2008 every year in the month of October, writers, publishers, book sellers and other book lovers from the world over converge on the city for weeklong activities under the auspices of the Port Harcourt Book Festival. I have no doubt that the effect of this World Book Capital year will reverberate across the rest of Nigeria and beyond our shores”, he said.
Also speaking, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru, said the best way to check insurgency and fight crime is to promote education.
Engr. Ikuru, who is also the Chairman, Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014 Committee, said this Wednesday during the opening ceremony of the Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014 in Port Harcourt.
He noted that the efforts of the state Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to address the security challenges faced by the state and the Niger Delta has yielded dividends.
Furthermore, he stressed that Amaechi’s prioritization of education across the state has placed on a pedestal that qualified Port Harcourt as the 14th UNESCO World Book Capital.
The deputy governor praised Governor Amaechi, UNESCO and all other stakeholders for the success of today’s event.
Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Dakuku Peterside (APC- Opobo/Nkoro), has said the designation of Port Harcourt as the World Book Capital had put the city on the world map.
The newsmen UNESCO designated Port Harcourt as the World Book Capital for 2014, the first in Sub-Saharan Africa, while Alexandria in Egypt, was the first in Africa in 2002.
Peterside told newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday that the event would open a window of opportunities for Rivers and Nigeria, especially in the literary world.
“Port Harcourt is on the spot light. World attention will be focused on Port Harcourt for the next one year.
“A lot of young people will be exposed, will be given opportunities, their skills will be honed and of course, there will be opportunities for networking.
“But most importantly, we are going to re-invent the culture of reading and of course, a whole lot of literary works in the city of Port Harcourt.
“There is a lot to be gained from Port Harcourt serving as the World Book Capital for the next one year.“
The lawmaker also called for collective effort to promote reading culture among the youth, saying that it was one way to keep their minds busy.
He urged Rivers people to key into the World Book Capital programme and use the experience to improve the standard of education in the state.

Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi (right), receiving Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014 from Deputy Governor, Bangkok, Mr K  Amond (left), during the celebration of the Port Harcourt World Book Capital, at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Wednesday. With them is A representative of Bangkok
Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi (right), receiving Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014 from Deputy Governor, Bangkok, Mr K Amond (left), during the celebration of the Port Harcourt World Book Capital, at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Wednesday. With them is A representative of Bangkok