Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State has assured that the state will accord the late Prof. Chinua Achebe a befitting burial in line with his stature as a global citizen and a foremost ambassador of Africa and Nigeria.
Obi said this yesterday in faraway Rhodes Island, USA, where he went to commiserate and confer with the Achebes. Obi, who held closed door meeting with the late Achebe’s wife and children, said the state would continue to be proud of Achebe for his seminal works that brought honour to Africa and Nigeria.
“Though I do not want to reduce him for whatever reasons to Anambra State, but you will agree with me that he was first an Anambrarian, form where his fame shined forth to all the corners of the earth,” Obi said.
While disclosing that he had a useful meeting with the Achebe family, he declined further comments, insisting that matters revolving around Achebe could not be a one-man affair, even though, according to him, “one may be thrust by circumstances to be at the lead.”
Speaking further, Obi acknowledged that the stars of Anambra State were fast diminishing, but insisted that Anambra had not changed and had continued to produce more stars in all fields of endeavour. “It might interest you to note that in some of the things done recently where merit was the sole criterion, Anambra people have always come first,” Obi said.
The governor said one of the cardinal policies, even though unwritten, about his government was to honour those who brought honour to the state, whether dead or alive.
“We did it for the likes of Prof. Chike Obi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu and shall do it for Achebe. The reason is to hold them out as role models that should be imitated. It is also a way of telling the younger ones that we need to always look up to those that are noble in deeds,” Obi concluded.
While urging all those desirous of paying tributes to him to visit the Government House at Awka, Anambra liaison offices in Abuja and Lagos to use the condolence registers, he said those who could not access the three places could send theirs through the email address of: firstname.lastname@example.org.