Stakeholders have expressed concerns over the poor reading culture amongst young persons in Abuja and across the country.
In particular, they decried the growing number of young people having unhealthy addiction and exposure to all forms of electronic gadgets, a trend, they say no doubt poses as a potent catalyst for the distortion of the societal norms and values, as the youth are the heart of development in any human society.
The stakeholders consisting mainly of top serving and retired civil servants and politicians from northeastern Nigeria made this observation at the weekend, during the official launch of a book titled: ‘The Paths That Take Us’, held inside the Auditorium of the Yar’Adua Centre,  in Abuja.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor Mai Mala Buni, of Yobe State, noted that young people are either glued to their phones, computers, I-Pads or other similar gadgets that consume the whole of their time.
Buni, commended the book Author, for his impressive passion to write the book at the time young men and women have become addicted to Information and Communication Technology ICT.
Represented by Brigadier General Dahiru Abdulsalam (retired, the Governor also congratulated the Author for his doggedness, resilience, and sacrifice that made him to successfully expand the frontiers of knowledge.
“Our young lads are either glued to their phones, computers, I-Pads or other similar gadgets that consumes the whole of their time.
“Hence, our young men and women have become averse to the literary culture. It’s very difficult nowadays to see someone reading a book (hardcopy)”, he stated.
He therefore charged the author to continue in the stride , and ensure that he toll the path of great scholars by writing more books that would serve as source of encouragement to others especially the younger generation.
Similarly, a retired Director of the FCT Administration, Yelwa Fatima Baba-Ari, stressed the need for young people to imbibe the habit of reading.
She opines that “I don’t think there is anything in the phone or other electronic devices that are going to last long, but books when they are preserved, they are witnesses and good source of whatever somebody wants to find out in life.
“So the the reading culture should be encouraged, so we should discourage our children, whose  faces are hidden in either computers or handsets everyday, for them to get the information they can grow with”.
The retiree, who is also the mother of the Author of the book, who hails from Yobe State, in the northeast, revealed that the book captured incidences based on first hand experiences of people living in the region.
In the same vein, the Author of the book, Aliyu Baba-Ari, advised youth to always develop interest in reading books, little by little, because reading culture is something that one can grow gradually in.
He adds: “like my book is 300 pages, so if you consider it too much for you, get a 100-page or 50-page book, and start reading little by little, and before you know it, you’re reading big books”.
Baba-Ari while explaining the cardinal message that the book conveys to the public, said: “The title of the book is “The Paths That Take Us”, it means implies  that some of the paths we don’t take them ourselves, as we are pulled into things without our knowledge or any of our doing. So things happen sometimes that are out of our control, and we have to just accept, and do the best, given the situation we found ourselves in life.
“We need to tell our stories by ourselves, as we don’t need to wait for someone else to tell our stories on our behalf. We have to tell our story by ourselves, so I decided to tell it myself through the book.
“I assure you that many more stories are going to come from me that would cover the northeast region, and the north in its entirety.
“The book will help create awareness about what has been going on for too long in the northeast. It’s only by creating more awareness, that we can create the public outrage that would help the government to stand up to put in more effort than they are are doing.
” I have written a book that is a fiction, but I think the government is doing what it can to address the challenges of insecurity challenges and other sundry problems”.
Not let out, Chairman of the book launch, Abubakar Mahmood, a retired Permanent Secretary, in the then Federal Ministry of Power and Steel described the book as very informative historical document.
 ” We normally get the kind of stories in the book from television, but now we have a document that anybody can open and read, and find out the happenings in the northeast.
“Although it’s a fiction, but there are some facts that are these are the stories going on in the northeast, that people should be aware of, and be part of the solution to our own problems”, he added.

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