President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday, mourned the death of foremost writer, Prof. Chinua Achebe, saying the deceased’s rank, truthful and fearless interventions in national affairs would be greatly missed.
Jonathan made this known in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.
The President said although some people may have disagreed with the deceased’s views, most Nigerians never doubted his immense patriotism and sincere commitment to the building of a greater, more united and prosperous nation that all Africans and the entire black race could be proud of.
It would be recalled that the late Achebe declined national honours bestowed on him by the administrations of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Jonathan in protest of the state of affairs in his home country.
The statement read, “President Goodluck Jonathan has received with immense sadness, news of the passing away of Nigeria’s globally acclaimed writer, scholar, tutor, cultural icon, nationalist and artist of the very first rank, Prof. Chinua Achebe.
“The President joins Prof. Achebe’s family, friends, colleagues, past and present students, admirers and all who have learnt indelible lessons of human existence from his award-winning works of literature in mourning the legendary author.
“As he mourns, however, the President is consoled by the knowledge that Prof. Achebe will live forever in the hearts and minds of present and future generations through his great works which brought him enduring international fame and countless honours.”
He prayed that God will receive Achebe’s soul and grant him eternal rest.
Achebe is survived by his wife, Christie Chinwe Achebe, a professor of psychology, and four children – Chinelo (a professor), Ikechukwu (a researcher and academic), Chidi (a medical doctor based in Boston, Massachusetts), and Nwando (a professor of history at Michigan State University) – as well as several grandchildren.