Scores of Authors and writers in the South west under the aegis of Association of Nigerian Authors led by Chairmen from all the six states in the region which comprises Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun and Ogun states converged in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital to chat a new cause for their struggles.
It was at A-two day programme which featured young writers and authors who displayed with impressive literary skills in the presence of plethora of talents .
One of the highlights of the meeting in Abeokuta was the visit to the Ijagba residence of the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka. And as fate would have it, the Professor who incidentally, is a member of the association threw his doors open for the members of the association to hold their synergy programme.
While sharing their experiences in their various states, the Chairmen lamented on the challenges confronting the authors.
The Ogun state Chairman who hosted his colleagues from other states, Dada Olanipekun and two other members of the association Femi Onileagbon (Lagos) and Abigail Ohiero called for synergy amongst members.
They called on the federal and state governments to assist them in their battle against piracy, saying, majority of them find it difficult to sustain themselves despite that they are pouring out their intellectual properties for the society to benefit.
They noted that, after spending a lot of money, time and energy in producing books,it is unfair for pirates to smile to the banks for their sweat. They, therefore urge the government to come down heavily on pirates and include most of their works in school curriculum.
The authors also frowned at lack of support and residency programmes for authors in the country.
According to them, the Government is not encouraging a reading culture that is why it is difficult for them to encourage citizens to write. Noting, until the Government encourages the reading culture, there will be challenges in writing, challenges for authors to publish their works.
“Nevertheless, while we are proud of the evident improvement in the number of writers and authors, it is sad to note that we have barely progressed in terms of authors earning adequate financial compensations from their literary works.
“This goes to show that in as much as we attest to the truth that the reading culture in Nigeria is poor, we are faced with an even greater challenge: the average reading Nigerian would rather buy or read a book produced by a foreign author than that of a Nigerian author, thus, leaving the market for books much smaller than it ordinarily should be for local authors.”