By DAYO ADESULU
Dr Tony Marinho has stated that a school without a library is not a school and a home without one form of library or the other is not a home.
He said,“If 20 million parents in Nigeria buy books for their children, we would have solved the problem of dwindling reading culture.”
Marinho who has authored over ten publications urged parents to sit with their children on Saturday and Sunday to read books with them to enhance their reading habits.
Speaking with journalists during the secondary school reading programme organised by Zaccheus Onumba Dibiaezue Memorial Libraries ZODML, Lagos, Marinho said instead of students reading, many have taking delight in sending text messages.
He urged parents to buy books as present to their children during birthdays, Christmas and new year adding that this will help them to value books and read them.
“I bought a book for my grand child that is zero year old because I know that one day he will grow up to read the book or the parents will read it.
“Wole Soyinka is going to be 80 next year, how many Nigerian children have read his books. We should see it as imperative that every parent and even the government buy Soyinka book for their children to mark his 80th birthday.
“If he dies, you will give 20 cows and say you are given him a befitting burial. A befitting burial is that every child has shoule read his book in Nigeria because people read his books in Japan, Germany, Ghana.”
According to him, he came for the programme so that students could love reading literature and to improve their writing talents.
He disclosed that by discussing the book together, students will meet each other for live. “I expect them to share what they have gained here today with others, because if you dont talk to other of what you have gained, you have scored zero over eleven,” he said.
Also speaking, Co-chairperson and member of ZODML’s Board of Trustees, Mrs. Ifeoma Esiri said, “The essence of the reading programme is to meet the author of the book and also for students to engage him in understanding how he got to be writing being a qualified medical doctor. How he got the idea of writing the book and how he develop the characters of the book.”