Environmental Activist Donates Library/Resource Centre to A’Ibom Community
By Ekemini Simon
An environmental activist, Nnimmo Bassey has donated a resource centre/library to his community, Nkwot in Ikono local government area of Akwa Ibom State.
The resource centre located at St. Mary Secondary School, Ikot Nseyen in Nkwot Community is solar powered and equipped with computers and free WiFi, books for both junior and secondary school, periodicals among others books for the community.
The school, a public school established in the 1970s, has suffered neglect for years forcing a classroom to be converted into a makeshift library but with very scant books.
The Donor, who is the Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) while handing over the resource centre to the school and community on Friday, June 24, 2022 said the gesture is geared towards encouraging the community and students to read.
He noted that since HOMEF is an ecological think tank even one cannot think without documenting his thoughts; provision of books is very important.
Bassey who called on the students and community members to avail themselves of the opportunity the facility offers noted that the knowledge obtained from the centre will serve as a catalyst for development in the area.
He added ” If we don’t invest in the present we are not investing in their future. A lot of what I have learnt has been from books. No matter what we do, a whole lot of it is influenced by the books we read. So, books mean a lot to me.
“When we start at an early age, we are better placed to measure up our lives as we grow. That is why we thought we should come to this community and locate a library and resource centre here.
“If children have access to books, they have unlimited possibilities of getting to any level in life. Books take us beyond our immediate environment. It inspires what we want to be in life. The children who make good use of this facility will go far and bring light to their community”.
The Director of HOMEF said the computers provided should be used for the registration of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination with a promise to donate more computers.
Bassey assured that he will bring writers especially those who wrote some of the books the students would be reading in the library for a talk with the students so that they can be inspired to become writers of books themselves.
He thanked the Community Law Defense Centre, Architects Base Consult among others who encouraged him financially to complete the project and Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation for the books they donated to the library.
Receiving the facility on behalf of the Akwa Ibom State Government, the Chairman of State Secondary School Education Board, Dr. Ekaette Okon commended the donor for the gesture noting that the provision of the resource centre is a seed sown into the future.
Okon, who described the facility as a multipurpose resource centre, called on others to emulate Bassey’s gesture in giving back to their community.
The Chairman who stressed the need for citizens not to allow education entirely in the hands of the government charged the community to protect the facility.
She assured that the state government, through the State Secondary Education Board, would provide a qualified librarian to man the resource centre as well as donate more books.
Receiving the facility on behalf of the Community, the Chairman of Mbono Uforo Nkwot, Sir Raphael Edem described Nnimmo Bassey as a renowned son of the soil who has brought honour to the community.
Edem who said that 24 villages of Nkwot Community will make optimum use of the facility added ” He is a proud son of the soil whose works have earned him both national and international recognition. He promised us a library and now he has provided this mega resource centre. We pray God should bless him richly.”
Edem appealed to the state government to help repair, renovate and provide some dilapidated facilities to include, borehole, principal and teachers quarters, laboratory and perimeter fence.
The School Principal, Pastor Charles Isok noted that the resource centre will go a long way in raising the standard of education in the school.
While giving assurance of effective utilisation of the facility, he recalled ” In my time, we had a library and it was compulsory for students to read in the library. Sadly, that system has gone down the drain. We are happy that someone is trying to revive that reading culture through this resource centre.
” Here, we picked a classroom and converted it to a library even with inadequate books. But that is now in the past through the donation of this resource centre. May God bless Nnimmo Bassey.”
Students who spoke with TheMail newspaper thanked the donor for the concern towards their academic advancement and prayed to God to bless him.
They assured that they will make good use of the resource centre and ensure it is reflective in their academic performance.
Meanwhile, Mentees of Nnimmo Bassey, the Executive Director of We The People, Ken Henshaw, Executive Director of Policy Alert, Tijah Bolton-Akpan, Head of Port Harcourt Office of Environmental Rights Action, Kentebe Ebiaridor, Coordinator of Peace Point Development Foundation, Umo Isua-ikoh, Executive Director of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Emem Okon and Programme Coordinator of Green Concern for Development, Edem Edem have promised to donate more books to the Library and also train the community on environmental sustainability, fiscal and resource governance.