By Nicholas Obisike
Enugu – The Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, has called on Nigerians to be creative and positive in their thinking to enhance national development.
Speaking at his special day at the 7th Nigeria Book Fair in Enugu on Friday, the senator said that for Nigeria to grow, people needed to put on their thinking cap.
“It was my thought on how to make Nigeria a better place that made me to come up with the book titled `Who Will Love My Country’.
“To contribute to national development, you do not need to be the president or a senator to contribute your own quota to the country’s development.
“You can come up with an idea that will be useful to this country and even change the country in a way you might not have thought of,” he said.
The senator also urged students who attended the fair to study hard to excel in their future endeavours.
The Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Jude Udenta, said that the fair was held to sensitise the general public on the need to be creative and imbibe the reading culture.
Udenta commended the organisers of the fair for reviving the event in the state after some years of inactivity.
He called on the state government and stakeholders in the education sector to support the fair to make it an annual event.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the organising committee of the fair, Chief Uche Anioke, said the weeklong event was organised by the Nigeria Book Fair Trust for the South East zone.
Anioke, who is also a publisher, said it organised the event to promote reading culture among the people, particularly the youth.
He regretted that reading was becoming extinct among the youth and needed urgent attention.
The committee chairman, however, appealed to governments, the private sector, parents and well-meaning Nigerians to encourage reading.
Some of the participants who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) commended the organisers for the fair, which they described as a welcome development.
A parent and author, Mrs Adaobi Nwoye, stressed the need for introduction of reading clubs in primary and secondary schools.
Nwoye, who is the President of the Coal City Literary Club, said that such activity would boost education development in the country.
A student of the Girls High School, Achi, Miss Joy Anayochukwu, expressed delight to be part of the event which gave her the opportunity to see Sen. Ekweremadu for the first time.
“I gained a lot of knowledge here and I will do my best to study hard so that I can contribute toward the development of my country,’’ she said.
Another student from New Haven Secondary School, Enugu, Master Kingsley Ani, said that he felt happy to benefit from the senator’s advice.
The weeklong event held at the indoor hall of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium will end on Saturday.