Akwa Ibom Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, has sent his hearty congratulations to John Obot, who, last night broke the Guinness World Record for the longest individual hours spent reading, and went further to extend the hours from 124 to 153 hours.
In a message of congratulations released on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary, Ekerete Udoh, Governor Eno, was effusive in his praise of Mr Obot.
“This is what we all can do in our various fields with the right discipline, mindset, determination and focus. This is what the Akwa Ibom spirit represents: Resilience, grit, determination, ‘can-do’ bravado and passion to excel.
“Your success has ignited our reading culture and I look forward to celebrating you and other heroes and heroines during our forthcoming 36th State Anniversary. Congratulations again, great son of Akwa Ibom.”
Mr John Obot is a professional teacher and had read from a variety of books; mostly Nigerian literature in Watbridge Hotel, along IBB Avenue, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.
Since the inception of the task on September 12th, several personalities including dignitaries within and outside the state have stopped by to show solidarity in their different ways.
Obot reached 145 hours on Monday, 18 September, beating a previous record of 124 hours set in September 2022 by a Kyrgyzstan, Rysbai Isakov, in Bursa, Turkey.
Our correspondent reports that there was loud rejoicing by spectaculars both inside and on the overflow even as the new intending record holder took some minutes out to exchange pleasantries and had snapshots with the dignitaries who were there to witness him set the new read-aloud record.
Some of the over 40 books Mr Obot read aloud within the six days include: Echoes of The Traditional Society written by a renowned Nigerian journalist, Akpandem James.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe; Civil War Child by Nestor Udoh; Ibibio Nation: History and Culture by Oto-Obong Uwah; Eze Goes to School by Michael Crowder and Onuora Nzekwu; and Animal Farm by George Orwell etc.
Speaking before the commencement of the exercise, Obot said he undertook the task to draw attention to the fast-declining reading culture, especially among Nigerian youths, and as a way of encouraging authors to continue their art of writing.
Our correspondent checks show that the school teacher is son of a journalist, Mr John Obot, who worked with the Federal Radio Cooperation of Nigeria (FRCN) and died in a ghastly motor accident while on an official trip to the head office in Abuja few decades ago.
While breaking the record on Monday in the task termed; ‘READERMANIA’ the state Deputy Governor, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, Senator Representing Eket Senatorial District, Senator Ekong Sampson, Senator Representing, Uyo Senatorial District, Rt. Hon Aniekan Akpan, the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Enobong Uwah, the state Head of Civil Service, Chief Effiong Essien, ALGON Chairman in the state, Rt. Hon. Iniobong Robeson among others were there and joined in the count down to the 145 hours from 144:50 hours.
Obot ended the loud reading at 10:00 pm on Monday, after successfully reading for 53 hours to set a new record for the longest hours of reading aloud in the world.