The National leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) has expressed shock at the news of the demise of Professor Chinua Achebe. In a statement, he described Professor Achebe as a Nigerian writer that effectively combined intellectualism and simplicity. “His debut literary work, ‘Things fall apart’ published in 1958, has continued to attract wide readership across the globe. He was known for an inimitable courage in freely expressing his personal convictions on prevalent National discourse irrespective of the desire of the principalities in the Land. He rebuffed two attempts by the PDP-led Federal Government to confer National honours on him because of his conviction that the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, as a Party, had not given Nigerians any hope ofresponsible governance.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, NEC and the party members across the Nation-space and the Diaspora, GMB sends his condolence to the immediate family members of Professor Achebe on this tragic loss. May the Almighty God grant the family and the entire Nation the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,”Rotimi Fashakin ,national publicity secretary, CPC said.
Equally,Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, has described the late essayist, poet and celebrated novelist, Professor Chinua Achebe who died early on Friday as a true patriot whose love and passion for Nigeria cannot be doubted.
In a statement by his press secretary, Felix Ofou, the governor said though there were moments when the late teacher of African Literature’s views were at variance with the authorities, he left no one in doubt as to his depth of love for Nigeria.
Governor Uduaghan also noted that Achebe was unmistakably Nigeria’s foremost ambassador to the world through his craft as a novelist, poet, essayist, teacher, public affairs analyst and renowned speaker at the world stage.
“It is noteworthy that most of Professor Chinua Achebe’s books were about Nigeria. For this, he won so many awards. I can say he was Nigeria’s foremost ambassador. He was a true patriot who put his country first where he went and in whatever he did”, he noted.
Uduaghan further described Achebe’s death as a big blow to Nigeria, the academia particularly African literature as well as to all lovers of democracy and good governance all over the world. The Governor prayed God to grant the nation, the deceased family, associates and admirers the fortitude to bear the loss.
Also, Nigeria’s Finance Minister ,Ngozi Okonjo Iweala said she “received the news of the passing of Prof Chinua Achebe with a sense of profound loss. Yes, he was 82 years old and by any measure not too young to die. But Achebe had for so long been a part of our lives that the thought of his death has an unreal quality.
“Additionally, having known him and his wonderful wife, Aunty Christy since I was a teenager, there is, for me, a very personal feeling to this loss.
She added that “the good news is that though he is gone, Achebe is very much alive. He is alive in his works and in his words and in his ideas. Certainly his idea that African culture has intrinsic value beyond anthropological voyeurism is very much alive. That is why his great intellect lives on and the man will never die!
“For me and countless others, he was a personal inspiration and indeed a hero. That is why my co-author, Tijan Sallah and I wrote the biography of Achebe for young adults called “Teacher of Light” to capture the essential Achebe for our young people.
“Professor Chinua started life as a man, but ended it as a MOVEMENT – a movement for African literature, good governance and the dignity of man.
”We extend our condolences to the entire Achebe family at this difficult time. May the Almighty comfort them and all of us at this difficult time.
In the same vein, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of EFCC in a statement also “joined the world today in mourning the passage of professor Chinua Achebe, a man I describe as the pillar of African literature and perhaps the most attentive and painstaking missioner of African Culture in the face of a global doubt in the immediate years after the independence wave of the sixties.
“By this passage we have lost a great man, a moral centre and a brave commentator who always spoke loudly and clearly what most believe but are too timid or shy to utter.
“May his death bring a nobler challenge to the Nigerian dream and our vision of a just homeland.
Ribadu said “I also wish to extend my sincere condolences to the Achebe family, the government and people of Anambra state and all Nigerians on this great loss.I pray that God give us all the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
In Abia State, the Governor,Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji of Abia State responded by saying Things have fallen apart, the centre cannot hold, we are no longer at ease when he received the news of the death of Prof Chinua Achebe.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Ugo Emezue Chief Orji said that Ndigbo has lost a literary icon, a legend of all times and a hero whose novels remain a reference point in and outside the country.
Chief Orji who lamented the exit of Prof Achebe maintained that he is yet to come to terms with the sudden demise of this statesman of international repute.
Prof Achebe, Abia Governor stated that will be remembered for always standing up for Ndigbo at all times despite all odds.
Though Prof Achebe became a bit challenged through an accident that affected his legs he waxed stronger, impacting knowledge on the younger ones as a lecturer abroad , the Governor added.
Chief Orji said that the Governors of the South East will do their best to give their departed illustrious son a befitting burial.
He commiserated with the family of the bereaved and prayed God to give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
In its condolence message,pro- active -political organization, Njiko Igbo, has described the death of Prof Chinua Achebe as great loss not only to Nigeria but the entire Black race.
According to a press release by the group’s Publicity Secretary, Brady Chijioke Nwosu, the death of the great Iroko has created a vacuum that would take time to fill, as the literary icon was a worthy ambassador of the continent, who stood on the side of the people. One of his last words was ” The Igbos were not and continue not to be reintegrated into Nigeria , one of the main reasons for the country’s continued backwardness ” . “He was the last man standing in a generation people mortgaged their soul for morsel of bread.”
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