96 Year old Gabriel Okara (seated) surrounded by (L-R) Joseph Ajeinka (Former Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt), Minesoma Minima (Former Chairman, Association of Nigerian Authors, Rivers State), Comish Ekiye (Script Writer and Director), Kudo Eresia-Eke (General Manager, External Relations Nigeria LNG), Julie Okoh (Convener/Director, Institute of Arts & Culture), Odia Ofiemun (Poet, Activist and Keynote Speaker at the Gabriel Okara Literary Festival), Koko Kalango (Founder, Rainbow Book Club and Project Director UNESCO World Book Capital2014), Lindsay Barrett (Nigerian/Jamaican Veteran Journalist) at the Gabriel Okara Literary Festival which held at the University of Port Harcourt on the 27th of April, 2017.
Three years after Port Harcourt became the UNESCO World Book Capital, poet and activist, Odia Ofiemun called on the Rivers State Government to ensure the city rises to its status as a former World Book Capital.
He made this statement at the Gabriel Okara Literary Festival which held from the 25th to the 27th of April at the University of Port Harcourt with the 96-year old Okara in attendance. Ofiemun hampered on the need to revive and advance the dream of Port Harcourt as a book city.
He listed some expectations such as a vibrant printing industry, thriving publishing houses, notable book shops, functional libraries and book friendly infrastructure. He lamented that the opposite seems to be the case.
Finally, Ofiemun enjoined the state political gladiators to put aside their differences and contribute to the realization of the dream of Port Harcourt as a book city.