Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Attack On Awo - Babatope Takes On Achebe

Photo: Vanguard
Professor Chinua Achebe.

Literary giant Chinua Achebe's depiction of Chief Obafemi Awolowo as a man driven by an overriding ambition for power at the expense of Ibos was Friday described as nonsensical and a twist of facts.

In a rebuttal of Achebe's representation of Awolowo in a new book, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, a close aide and follower of the late Yoruba sage, noted what he said was Achebe's penchant to soil the image of Awolowo.

Vowing that the battle to check Achebe had just started, Babatope told Vanguard ,Friday, that while Achebe had the liberty to write he could not murder history with his attack on Awolowo.

Achebe in the new book just released had accused Awolowo of being driven by an ambition for power which "drove him into a frenzy to go to every length to achieve his dreams.

In the Biafran case it meant hatching up a diabolical policy to reduce the numbers of his enemies significantly through starvation -- eliminating over two million people, mainly members of future generations."

Responding Friday, Babatope said: "While Achebe is free to write on any topic that suits his fancy, he has no right whatsoever to irresponsibly murder history by recklessly attacking a great leader like Papa Awolowo. Nigerians should expect detailed, honest, factual and objective replies to the Achebe nonsense after we have copies of the book in our hands.

"This is not the first time that Achebe will publish scathing attacks on Papa Awo. He did it in his book written about 30yrs ago titled 'The trouble with Nigeria'. The battle against falsehood has started."

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InFocus

Nigeria: Chinua Achebe's New Book Sparks Controversy

Professor Chinua Achebe.

The renowned writer has published a controversial memoir on the Biafran war, entitled There Was a Country. Read more »