“Books are at the center of everything in our lives”
It was palpable excitement on Sunday, January 16, 2022 when Engr. Anthony Akpokene has opened his new Flomat Books Ltd outlet in the departure hall of Asaba International Airport in Asaba, the capital of Delta State.
An important cultural landmark, the event was chaired by Engr. Joshua Egube. It will be recalled that Mr. Akpokene, who started his chain Flomat Books in Warri years ago, opened another shop in the very scholarly Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, in May 2021 to much fanfare.
The dignitaries who graced the event were Bishop Mogekwu, Bishop Mighty Okonkwo, Dr (Mrs) Augusta Ogbene and Dr (Mrs) Elohor Odiase. The dedication of Flomat Books will be carried out by the Executive Assistant for Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution to the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, Rev. (Dr.) Godspower Agbuduta. Dr. Ogaga Ifowodo, Mr. Anote Ajeluorou, Mr. Jerry Edo, Mr. Tietie, Mr. Maxwell Chiejina Ajufo were among many other dignitaries who also attended.
The chairman of the event, Mr. Egube, hailed Akpokene’s lofty vision by setting up a bookstore at a vantage point like Asaba Airport. According to him, ”Books are at the center of everything in our lives. Whatever book you want, Flomat Books can make it available to you upon request. It is ready to import books and serve those in need.
Akpokene helped set up the Reading League in Asaba and it is working very well. In welcoming his guests, Mr. Akpokene emphasized the importance of books and the education they bring to a people by freeing their minds from primal instincts that easily disrupt society and cause anarchy. “I am pleased to welcome you to the opening ceremony of the Flomat Books Ltd booth here at Asaba International Airport in the departure hall.
Today, January 16, 2022 is a remarkable day and I want us all to mark this day in our diaries. It’s a remarkable day at this airport, the city of Asaba and Delta State. Why is this remarkable?
I will always say that education is the key to the development of a people; they say if you want to hide something from the black man, put it in a book. Why? Because the treasure is in the book but the black man won’t read it. Akpokene gave an anecdote to illustrate the black man’s special relationship with books.
According to him, “Something happened recently in South Africa, there were protests against the way the government was treating the people. This event was hijacked and many lootings took place. Shops were looted, jewelry stores, car shops, groceries, looting everywhere. Do you know the shops that weren’t looted? Bookstores!
These are the only stores that have not been looted, because no one is interested in books. “But the truth is that the knowledge from 3,000 to 4,000 years ago is in the books and there’s hardly anything you do in this lifetime that isn’t in the books that someone has gone through .
So why are you in pain? You want to follow any program; you want to do any subject; you want to go on any adventure, seek it out: someone has done something like this before you can glimpse it and learn from it. The CEO listed the types of books in stock, saying travelers have several to choose from to enrich their reading experience.
“Before you are books of all kinds: Leadership, Management, Motivation, Economics, Finance, Optometry, Pharmacology, Nursing, all kinds of books both academic and religious. And we have Bibles. Speaking of Bibles, I just want to talk about two Bibles here that are unique to the African context.
The first is called the Africa Study Bible, which I was one of those who started the original discussion about 10-11 years ago and am so happy to be able to see the Bible today. It came out recently and they sent me some copies, as I was one of those who discussed the need for an African Bible.
“What is different in an African Bible? it’s the same thing but the interpretation, the keynotes, the concordance and everything relates to the African setting and describes it in such a way that the average African man will understand.
There are so many things in the Bible that are placed in the European setting, but the truth is that most (things in the) Bible were written in Africa.
“Do you remember that Jesus Christ came to Africa? It was in Africa that he was saved from the menacing Herod. There are many biblical characters who come from Africa. It’s just that in today’s modern world they’ve translated and deceived so many people that Christianity is a white man’s religion, it’s not. We also have The End Time Bible which is fantastic as well,” Akpokene said.
Poet and lawyer, Ifowodo, also lent his support to the new bookstore, saying books are agents of ideas that travel widely to meet those who may never leave their homes. He also praised Akpokene and urged everyone to embrace the power of knowledge the books bring, noting, “What Tony is doing is something Nigerians should emulate everywhere.
More and more, it is an age of information, a world of knowledge. If you lack knowledge, you are lost. Almost every school motto should be “knowledge is power”. This is more true today than when this expression was coined. Wherever there are books, I am there. Books should be our friends.
“As Soyinka rightly coined it: ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’, so also ‘A book a day keeps the devil away!’ It might be too far, because you can finish reading Anote Ajeluorou’s “Igho Goes to Farm” which is around 60 pages a day, but a book like Soyinka’s “You Must Set Forth at Dawn” will take longer. of time.
So engaging with a book in a day keeps the devil at bay, and the devil means what is wrong in human society, in the life that is always available to us, if we refuse to occupy our minds with the good ideas.
And there’s no better place to find these ideas than at a bookstore like Flomat Books Ltd, now in the departure lounge of Asaba International Airport, Asaba.
For his part, Ajeluorou praised Akpokene for his vision to open a bookstore at Asaba airport, saying it would give travelers easy access to books.
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