After an initial setback caused by “an equipment/power failure that caused technical problems,” Nigerian marathoner John Obot reached his goal of 145 hours on Monday.
This was achieved at exactly 2 pm while reading Echoes of Traditional Society, written by Akpandem James, a renowned journalist and former editor-in-chief of the Daily Independent newspaper.
The book talks about the unique traditions and culture of the then Eastern Region of Nigeria.
Mr Obot, a teacher from Akwa Ibom State, has been reading aloud several books, mainly Nigerian literature, in a small room in a hotel in Uyo for nine days, since September 9.
The audience present in the room stood, cheered and applauded Mr. Obot as soon as the stopwatch visibly displayed at the front of the room indicated that he had successfully clocked 145 hours.
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Mr. Obot, interrupted, stopped reading. He ran down excitedly, stared at the timing device, raised both hands in the air and shouted, “We did it! We did it! Yes we did it!”
“Glory! Glory! Glory!” The audience shouted and applauded.
Some dignitaries including Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Enobong Uwah, and Senator representing Akwa Ibom South District, Ekong Sampson, quickly walked to the front to take a group photo with the marathon reader.
They were led by Udeme Nana, founder of the Uyo Reading Club and chief program director for the reading exercise.
Mr Obot hugged Mr Nana and Mr Sampson and thanked them for their support.
“We don’t finish now, we continue. We will finish tonight at 10:00 p.m.,” Obot said, as the audience continued applauding.
When certified by the Guinness World RecordsObot would have broken a previous record of 124 hours set in September 2022 by a Kyrgyz man, Rysbai Isakov, in Bursa, Turkey.