Here’s a piece of curious news out of Kano. This Monday, August 25, the President of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Dr Wale Okediran, and National Publicity Secretary (South), Mr Hycinth Obunseh, were in Kano in order to dialogue with the Kano State Censorship Board on its plans to censor literary works in the state. The matter had caused quite a stir in the last few weeks.
I had spoken with Dr Okediran in the morning while he was already on the road to Kano (he had texted me when I was asleep, asking me to call). He wanted to know my views about the dialogue he was going to attend in Kano. And I told him.
The meeting was attended by the Kano censors and ANA members from Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and, of course, Kano. (They’re all in the photograph above). The director-general of the censors board, Malam Abubakar Rabo Abdulkarim, headed his board’s team. A few speeches were made, with speakers agreeing that there had been a misunderstanding or a break in communcation. At the end, a truce was arrived at, which appeared to have been deliberately designed to read like a no-winner-no-vanquished artwork. All to no avail, for you could easily sift out the winner and the vanquished from the proceedings. The whole thing was captured in a communique. Below is the text of the communique:
An interactive meeting between Kano State Censorship Board and Association of Nigerian Authors (National, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara branches) was held on 25th August 2008 at the Board and resolved as follows:
1. List of membership as well as books already in circulation should be forwarded to the Board through the literary associations (Authors, publishers, marketers) within 60 days from today 25/08/2008.
2. Subsequently, ANA and KSCB have agreed to look into other grey areas of the (KSCB) Law.
3. Kano State Censorship Board and Association of Nigerian Authors will henceforth collaborate on relevant workshop/symposia in the area of censorship.
4. The dialogue agrees that Publishers, Marketers and other Distributors of literary works should register their businesses with Kano State Censorship Board.
Abubakar Rabo Abdulkarim
Kano State Censorship Board
Dr Wale Okediran
ANA NATIONAL PRESIDENT