The centre made this appeal in a statement at the weekend signed by Professor Ebere Onwudiwe, its Executive Director.
The statement reads: “There should be a public holiday in honour of Professor Chinua Achebe whose integrity and courage in the service of our father land was nonpareil. The day should be named ‘Chinua Achebe Day.’
“Few have done more for our international image than Achebe, a great lover of this potentially great and loveable country of ours. The nation must show its gratitude to him. Achebe used his God-given talent to fight the good fight. He courageously defended the dignity of Africans against the assaults of some western writers and most importantly against Nigeria’s political leadership that he blamed for most of our national problems.
“Chinua Achebe was one Africa’s greatest novelists whose truth telling is an ineffaceable trademark. His seminal work, Things Fall Apart is an authentic and beautiful narrative of the clash of western and Igbo civilizations. In 2002, the Norwegian Book Club listed Things Fall Apart in the list of 100 best books ever written. The selection of the world’s 100 best books was through a rigorous process involving many literary giants including our own national treasure, Wole Soyinka.”