25 March 2013

Nigeria: Achebe, Global Icon for All Time - ACN, Akunyili, Others

Photo: This Day
Chinua Achebe, author and poet

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has paid a glowing tribute to renowned Nigerian writer and nationalist, Prof Chinua Achebe, who died last Thursday.The party described him as a global icon for all time and an outstanding Nigerian brand.

In a statement issued in Lagos, yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the ACN pointed out that Achebe's death was a monumental loss not only to Nigeria but to the entire world, judging by the tributes that have been pouring in from around the world since his demise.

It said that apart from his rarefied achievements in the literary field and his scholarly excellence, Prof. Achebe was a nationalist, not minding the controversy generated by his last book, "There was a country."

"Prof Achebe's nationalist and democratic credentials were unassailable. He loved Nigeria with a passion and used the platform offered by his global exposure to call attention, time and again, to the years of misrule in his homeland, which must have left a gaping hole in his heart till he breathed his last.

Meanwhile, A former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, yesterday,in Abuja joined other prominent Nigerians to pay tribute to Prof Achebe.

The former minister described the literary giant as her hero, and added that his death was a great loss to the nation.

In a statement, signed by her Special Assistant (Media), Mr Isaac Umunna, the former minister said, "Prof Achebe was not only from my state Anambra, he was also one of my heroes and role models right from my days at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he taught.

"I therefore feel a deep sense of personal loss by his death. It is like losing a part of me.

"Prof. Achebe's death leaves a void not only in Nigeria and Africa but globally because he is one of the best novelists the world has ever produced."

The former minister said that Achebe would be greatly missed, and aded that Nigerians and indeed, the world should take solace in the rich legacies that he left behind.

In a related development, the Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator George Akume, has described the late literary giant, as a man of impeccable character and sound mind who in his quest to better the lives of Nigerians was never swayed by intimidation or material inducement.

Akume in a release mourning the death of Achebe also said he was a nationalist, a social critic and reformer who distinguished himself as a world class scholar especially in his strong portrayal of African traditional institutions in his numerous literary works which were read across the world.

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