The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has emphasised the need to improve the reading culture in Nigeria, which he says has declined due to systemic issues.
Obi said this as at an event in Lagos on Friday aimed at promoting reading among Nigerian youths.
The event titled ‘Christmas Magic,’ featured the unveiling of a new children’s book called “Mama’s Sleeping Scarf” written by renowned author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
In a statement via X on Saturday, Obi said, “Reading remains a very important aspect of our educational development, which must be encouraged always.
“Sadly, the reading culture among Nigerian youths has continued to decline due to a poor educational system, an inordinate desire for materialism, a lack of reading materials and functional libraries, and above all, the dying passion for reading among the youth.”
The event brought together several influential figures including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, academics like Prof. Hakeem Bello-Osagie, and activists like Dr. Oby Ezekwesili and Ndidi Nwuneli. Every speaker encouraged Nigerian youths to regain their passion for reading.
“Readers are leaders, they say. Reading will help the youth to build their critical thinking and analytical ability to succeed in an ever-complex world,” Obi stated, echoing a common refrain at the event.
Obi lauded the author for consistently using her literary works to advance societal causes.
“I thank Chimamanda for organising this wonderful event, and for consistently advancing the cause of our society through her literary works,” he said.
The former governor reiterated his vision for Nigeria’s future.
“As I have always maintained, our New Nigeria will encourage our very gifted youths to discover their talents, fuel their passions, and develop their skills for the progress of our society,” Obi added.