A former President of the Association of Nigeria Author (ANA), Wale Okediran, on Tuesday said that late Professor Chinua Achebe’s rejection of the national honour was political.
Mr. Okediran said this in Abuja at a programme organised by the association to celebrate the literary icon.
He said that the literary giant played politics throughout his life, which reflected in most of his books; adding that Mr. Achebe played politics by rejecting the national honour.
Mr. Achebe had turned down national honours during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan in 2004 and 2011, respectively.
The two administrations had honoured him with the Commander of the Federal Republic; but he rejected the awards.
Mr. Okediran said Mr. Achebe was a man of the people, who extended his political activism in his books by expressing his dismay in the way the country was ruled.
Joan Oji, a writer, said that Mr. Achebe used his books to express his “Igboism” nature, adding “that’s why he made use of Igbo proverbs to send across his message”.
She said that what he did was to communicate using his background, adding, “Achebe left a footprint on the sand of time.”
Abdulahi Danja, the National Vice President of ANA, said that unlike Mr. Achebe, those who write today did not write out of the consciousness of their environment.
“Before I started writing, I have read about Achebe and from his books, I learnt that I should reflect my society in my writing,” he said.
Authors, writers and literary enthusiast gathered to celebrate the man who co-founded ANA.