Exactly 161 days after releasing his latest and most controversial book: There Was A Country, literary giant, Emeritus Professor Chinualumogu Achebe, yesterday, died of complications arising from old age in a hospital in Boston, United States of America, aged 82. The iconic poet, novelist and critic had been ill for some time.
Unarguably, one of the world’s most celebrated writers, the death of Achebe, the David and Mariana Fisher Professor of Literature at BrownUniversity and author of the classic novel, Things Fall Apart, threw Nigeria, the world’s largest black nation into mourning. The polity was awash with ocean of tributes to the literary Iroko yesterday.
Among those who mourned and paid glowing tributes to Acbebe yesterday were President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Governors Peter Obi (Anambra), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Chibuike Amechi (Rivers), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), former Head of State, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), former National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, former Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Author and Traditional Ruler, Prof Chukwuemeka Ike, Senator Chris Ngige, former EFCC Chairman, Malam Nuhu Ribadu and MASSOB Leader, Chief Ralph Uwazurike.
Tributes also came from two former governors of Anambra State. Dr Chinwoke Mbadinuju and Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Poets and Authors, Prof JP Clark, Odia Ofeimum and Femi Osofisan; Prof Damian Opata, Prof Walter Ofonagoro, Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orietation, Edem Duke; Senator Ben Obi, Senators Bukola Saraki and Anthony Adefuye; Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, the Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Aka Ikenga, Chief Ebenenzer Babatope, member of the House of Representatives, Hon Tobias Okechukwu, Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, the Igbo Youths Movement, IYM and Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.