The Group Managing Director of Afrinvest, Mr Ike Chioke, has lamented the poor reading culture in Nigeria, especially among the youth.
At a press briefing in Lagos on Monday, preceding the launch of Akpokuedike – Duty Call in Anambra, a biography of the outgoing Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, which he authored, Chioke said the work “is more like a story book.”
Chioke said, “I am delighted to be here introducing my new book, Akpokuedike – Duty Call in Anambra. The reason for this book comes from my own background as an investment banker.”
According to him, Akpokuedike is a storybook about Obiano and Anambra State Investment, Promotion and Protection Agency.
“Of course, in my typical style not to make it a very dry and sort of clinical report of what ANSIPPA did, I wrote it to read more like a story book,” he said.
Set to be launched on Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at the International Conference Centre, Anambra State, Akpokuedike tells the story of Obiano from his Aguleri ancestry, the orientation he got from his headmaster father, his career at Texaco, First Bank and Fidelity Bank before becoming the governor of Anambra, Chioke explained.
The 203-page book of 15 chapters also covers the author’s experience working with Obiano in all the areas the governor touched in Anambra.
“From my point of view, the signature institutional infrastructure Obiano leaves behind is ANSIPPA. I chronicled it in my book, Akpokuedike,” Chioke, a prince of Obioma Kingdom in Enugu State, asserted.
Chioke, the Chairman of ANSIPPA, said seeing how Obiano had to deal with the many practical issues of governing such as insecurity, politics, poverty, religion and ethnicity, he was moved to to catalogue the experience appropriately.
He said, “ANSIPPA was Obiano’s first transformational project in 2014. Right from the kick-off of ANSIPPA, I continued to be involved in his government.
“Interestingly, I met Obiano in 2004 during the banking sector consolidation. Anambra is like a beacon in the South East the way Lagos draws everyone in the South West. As such, Anambra draws a lot of human capital from neighbouring states, like Enugu, Ebonyi or Abia, to support the massive development going on in Anambra.”
The idea to write the book started in 2021, he said. “I had a team of 30 people that I was paying to fly into Awka to interview everybody around Obiano. This was to enable me build a multidimensional picture of the subject and make sure that the information was consistent, complete and not misleading.”
On the purpose of the book, he said it was to document history.
His words, “Sadly, the biggest challenge in Nigeria is that we actually do not read enough these days. The phone, other digital devices and social media have overtaken the lives of many young men and women that they hardly read books.”
Akpokuedike is now on Amazon, so the book has become part of history because you can now use it as a research piece to understand Obiano’s intervention in Anambra over the last eight years, he explained.
“If you do not gain from the experience of what people have done, you may not really know why you are where you are today, neither may you know how to get through present challenges, and better yet avoid mistakes that have been made many times by others.
“So, this book is about history, in effect. It is also about acknowledging the impact of someone who has served the nation. It is not a political book about praise-singing or anything; it is just a book documenting history in a candid and in my view, entertaining manner,” Chioke added.
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