Wife of Lagos State governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola, and her Kwara State counterpart, Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed, will be among notable Nigerians who will lead over 50,000 secondary schools to participate in the maiden edition of the largest ever book reading festival featuring "17 Secrets of High Flying Students" in 17 cities across Nigeria and 17 countries across the world.
The event, Gemstone Global Reading Festival, taking place on Saturday November 24, 2012, aims at promoting academic excellence, youth leadership and world peace as well as raising exceptional leaders and change agents that would bring about national transformation in their respective countries.
Addressing journalists in Lagos, convener of the project and author of the book, Fela Durotoye, said the reading, scheduled for 12 noon GMT, would hold simultaneously, taking into account the different time zones of each reading centre.
"While the reading takes place in Nigeria by 12 noon, other locations like Ghana would be 11am, South Africa at 1pm, Malaysia at 7pm, Maryland (USA) at 7am to mention but a few," he said.
The reading will afford students opportunity to ask questions bordering on the vision as it inspires them to strive for academic excellence.
He said in Nigeria, the reading centers will have Lagos as its hub, with others at Abeokuta, Calabar, Ilorin, Ibadan, Port-Hacourt, Minna among others while the foreign centres include Zimbabwe, UK, Uganda, Singapore, China, Thailand, Philippines, and the event will be streamed live on the internet.
The main objective of the festival is to ensure that greater efforts are taken towards improving literacy and the reading culture in the world especially amongst the children and youths, by involving the entire community to join in the campaign to raise exceptional leaders and change agents.