By Akanimo Sampson
The Governing Council of Military Writers Society of Nigeria (MWSN) has announced the names of its officers to pilot the affairs of the Society for the next three years.
Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr Abubakar Sani, who made this known in Abuja on Tuesday after their virtual meeting, named a notable print journalist, who has worked for a good number of Nigeria’s notable publications, such as The Punch, Champion Newspapers, Daily Independent, and The Nation, Akanimo Sampson as the Society’s President.
Dr Abubakar Sani also pointed out that the Society is seriously concerned about how to actively involve veterans and retired military officers in literary works.
The governing council, according to him, wants the executive committee to gather a strong body of innovative creative writers, journalists, poets and photographers who will make use of their craft to encourage, defend and help the Nigerian Military.
‘’The Military Writers Society of Nigeria is unequivocally committed to the development of the profession of the Armed Forces through the exchange of ideas in the written medium’’, says the chair of the governing council.
‘’We are out to kindle love of the men and women who defend Nigeria, and a deeply personal understanding of their sacrifice and dedication. To achieve our goals, we will employ the instrumentality Advocacy, Collaboration, and Promotion’’, he adds.
The Society is set up to achieve certain objectives that are either short term or long term. The Objectives are as follows: Helping veterans, retired military officers to write and publish their memoirs and biography or autobiography for posterity, organise book reading, exhibition, and paintings.
Organise workshops and seminars on stress management, meditation techniques, writing skills and public speaking for veterans and serving officers as well as using writing to provide balanced information on security matters viz-a-viz the involvement of the military in Nigeria.
The Society’s president, Akanimo Sampson, over the years, has received industry trainings from the BBC and US-based media organisations on Conflict, Political and Economic reportage. His stories especially on crude oil struggles in the Niger Delta are widely syndicated on many online platforms both locally and internationally.
He practices undiluted and creative journalism founded on truth, and also believes that the average practitioner should be able to ply his trade with the utmost ethical standards. He is a 1987 graduate of the University of Uyo, Nigeria, where he was a student activist. He is married with children.
Holding the position of the Society’s Secretary-General, is Moses A. Uyang, a development communicator, author, essayist and poet. He got his degree in Education (English and Literature in English) from The Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya and a Diploma in Religious Studies from Marist International University College, Nairobi, Kenya.
Moses has published a literary piece titled: The Trek (2016). This is currently in use in one of the Universities in Nigeria. He has other articles and poems published online. He works in the development sector.
Announced as the group’s Treasurer is Balami Samuel Lazarus, a historian, poet and a writer. He was one-time Editor-in-Chief of North-East Star magazine, Abuja. He is currently the General Manager of Sprezzatura Publishing Company based in Abuja.
Unveiled as Administrative Secretary is Thomas Itaogim Anom, who holds a degree in law from the University of Calabar, Calabar. Thomas is well-versed in the sourcing and interpretation of a wide range of data which gave him the opportunity to volunteer in notable non-governmental organisations in Nigeria like Pathfinder International, Women at Risk International Foundation and Slum2School Africa.
Meanwhile, the Society’s president has assured that they will not betray the confidence reposed in them, promising that they will hit the road running immediately, and widely engage with military authorities in a bid to achieve the Society’s objectives.
‘’We are hoping that the Military Writers Society of Nigeria will be a major bridge between our military and the civil society, assist in ensuring that the voices of veterans/retired officers are heard, and inspiring them to share their rich experiences to motivate our troops on the frontlines’’, Sampson says.