Nigerians are set to break a Guinness world record for the ‘most people in a reading relay’, Mr Bayode Treasures-Olawunmi, a Guinness World Record holder has said.
The current Guinness world reading relay record is held by 3,071 people in India and 13,670 Nigerians will be reading a sentence each from “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi, an American author.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Treasures-Olawunmi made the revelation on Friday at the Park Inn by Radisson Abeokuta Schools Debate Seminar.
The seminar is themed “Education and the Nigerian Child”.
The annual Abeokuta Schools Debate is sponsored by Park Inn by Radisson in collaboration with Kola Obadimu Junior Brain House.
Treasures-Olawunmi, in his speech, said that the world record feat, to be spear headed top government officials, will be achieved in six months.
“The reading relay will be led by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, the Senate President and representatives from the Senate and National Assembly as well as governors.
“It will be read by over 13,000 people who will each read a sentence each from the book which has 13,670 sentences,” he said
The World Record Holder emphasised the importance of reading.
He said, “No nation has ever attained development via sports and entertainment, rather it has always been through and on the broad platform of deliberate quality education which spurs a healthy reading culture.
“The templates for national development are in books staring right in the faces of our African leaders and followers alike, but because we hate to read, our development of course is stunted.”
Treasures-Olawunmi also noted the toll the boko haram insurgency had taken on education in the north eastern states of the country.
“The tools used in the dreaded war are children and young adults whose minds had been manipulated and radicalised due to lack of education.
“When children read and are educated, their minds are formed often time for the right thinking and can discern for themselves what is wrong and what is right,” he said.
Treasures-Olawumi broke record by getting into the “Guinness Book of Record” for the “Longest Marathon Reading Aloud” when he read 23 books for over 122hrs non stop.
The previous winner, Deeper Sharma from Nepal in India, read for 113hrs 15mins.
Meanwhile, Prof. Kolawole Adebayo, a Professor of rural development communication at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, in his speech, gave an insight on the judges criteria for selection of winners of the debate series.
“The judges look at the mannerism of presenters, strategy, coordination of participants in the selection of winners.
“The series started with twenty schools and the overall winner from Victorrotti School received an all expense paid trip to Kenya sponsored by Kenyan Airways,
Mr Victor Ganzallo, a brand expert, in his speech, emphasized the need for parents to use travel as a means of education for their children.
“Well travelled children tend to be more tolerant and have more confidence to try new things.
“Travels teach kids about new cultures and language, children learn countless things about life and people by simply being able to observe how some things are practised in different places.
He urged parents to make it a duty to teach their children and wards about their ancestral pedigree and culture.
“We should teach our children about their culture, and let them have a good understanding of who they are and where they are from,” he said.
Ganzallo said that another great way to travel without leaving home is to go to libraries.
“Borrow and read travel books, research on different destinations and watch travel documentaries that bring the world into your home; it’s great education on its own,” he said.
Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, in his address, said that his administration was working hard at the development of infrastructure to attract investors to the state.
He said that Ogun would become the California of Nigeria.
Amosun spoke through Mr Eshomomoh Imoudu, his special adviser on Electronic media.
He said, “We want to create a very good and secure atmosphere for investment to be productive, which will make life better and give room for progression and development.”
Earlier in his address of welcome, Mr Kayode Aina, the General Manager of Park Inn by Radisson Hotel, said the Abeokuta Schools Debate was part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the hotel.
“As a hotel, apart from tourism and hospitality, we are also interested in knowledge and we have zeroed in on an educational program that will impact schools in Ogun State by establishing this literary and debating series,” Aina said. (NAN)