May 17, 2009
I had held an open-minded discourse with a friend and colleague of mine, Austen Oghuma, on a variety of issues regarding books, library, reading and writing, and writing stands alone when it comes to the way most of us think. It all began from David Ejoor's biased and unintelligible interview that got internet crackpots outraged.
But I had reasoned Ejoor does not deserve the attention given him, so far, and I have kept my word that Ejoor is a midget in the history books of the Nigeria crisis and as far as I am concerned he has no place in that fabricated country's history. Well the point I am trying to make here is when I asked Oghuma where one can purchase Ejoor's "Reminiscence" he said probably in Nigeria but I doubt if the book is still around any shelf. Besides, most of the books in Nigeria are poorly produced and published.
We don't write and we don't keep archives which is why our history will one day vanish. On the other hand, it is absolutely why our democracy will keep to be fledgling until eternity and the following comments are vivid accounts why a democracy had thrived:
"A popular government without a popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
Libraries are the wardrobes of literature, whence men, properly informed may bring forth something for ornament, much for curiosity, and more for use."
William Dyer (1636 -- 1696)
"There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the Earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration."
"A democratic society depends upon informed and educated citizenry. Information is the currency of democracy."
"I received the fundamentals of my education in school, but that was not enough. My real education, the superstructure, I got out of the public library. For an impoverished child whose family could not afford to buy books, the library was the open door to wonder and achievement, and I can never be sufficiently grateful that I had the wit to change through that door and make the most of it. Now, when I read constantly about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that the door is closing and that American society has found one more way to destroy itself."
Isaac Asimov, New York: Doubleday, 1994
Democracy works if applied on the basis of the above comments and I strongly believe in letters, and I encourage that as we learn each day that we live. Now, let me hear from you, where, how and when you write and which is your favorite and why writing is a powerful weapon.