Abuja — Nigeria's immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has condoled with the people and government of Bayelsa State as well as the literary world over the death of foremost poet and novelist, Pa Gabriel Imomotimi Okara, who died on Monday at the age of 97.
In a message of condolence he personally signed, Dr. Jonathan described the exit of the literary giant as a colossal loss to the Ijaw nation, the country and the African literary community.
A statement by his media aide, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, noted that the former President further extolled Pa Gabriel Okara as a great man of arts and wit, whose legacies permeated the field of humanities and statesmanship.
It said: "The death of a loved one, no matter his age, brings grief to our heart and tears in our eyes, but we must take solace in the fact that Pa. Okara lived a long and glorious life.
"He was a pioneer voice in modern African literature, a consummate journalist, a seasoned administrator and a statesman who lived a life worthy of emulation."
The ex-President prayed God to bless members of the Okara family, and grant them the fortitude to bear his exit.