The Aba Book Club on Monday called on the Abia Government and other stakeholders to assist in reviving the Aba City Library to improve the reading culture among the residents of the commercial city.
The group made the call during a roadwalk held across the city to sensitise the government and stakeholders on the need to revive the library for the benefit of the people.
Mr Osondu Mbonu, the Curator of the club, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the economic downturn in Nigeria had made it difficult for young people to have access to books.
Mbonu said that the poor performances of students in external examinations was a testimony of their concentration on television shows rather than books.
He said: “We are on a march to create awareness on the state of disrepair of the Aba City library located at 207 Market Road.
“We realised that the city of Aba is under-served when it comes to sourcing literary materials.
“The average student in Aba cannot really source free and affordable education materials easily.
“So we thought that as a club, we should come out and create awareness so that people will know that they can contribute something no matter how little to see that the library is revived and refurbished.’’
Mbonu further said that Aba had corporate bodies and individuals with means to assist in the refurbishment and revival of the library.
He said that aside from being in a state of disrepair, the facility lacked books.
He said that the club had written to the former Commissioner for Education, Professor Ikechi Mgboji, who allegedly claimed that government had not allocated funds to the Library Board in 20 years.
“We have written to higher institutions in Aba, NGOs, churches, corporate organisations that we feel can assist in this cause.
“We have not received any response so far and that is the reason we are marching for people to know we are really out to see that the library is revived.
“What matters in a city is having facilities that will enhance the development of the people’s intellectual capacity,” the curator said.
Dr. Ugo Emordi of Abia State University Teaching Hospital and Nnanna Daniel said that Aba had literary-minded residents, who had great need for the library.
They said the revival of the library would enhance the socio-economic development of Aba, the economic hub of Abia, and reduce anti-social behaviours among young people. (NAN)