Prof. Chinua Achebe may be buried next month in his hometown, Ikenga Ogidi in Idemilii North Local Government Area of Anambra State, family sources have said.
Anambra state governor Peter Obi was also said to have consented to the fixing of a date in May after meeting with Achebe’s children in the US last week.
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Chief Joemartins Uzodike, however told Saturday PUNCH that the burial arrangements would only be published after the family had formally briefed the state government.
“Though I cannot officially confirm it to you yet, from what I hear, the burial will likely be in May,” Uzodike said.
The state government has promised to give Achebe a grand burial in line with its policy to honour every Anambra citizen that has brought honour to the state.
A close aide to Governor Peter Obi also confirmed the burial plans as discussedin a meeting that involved some principal aides to Obi and members of the Achebe family.
“So far, from their discussion, the late Achebe would be buried next month (May) but there is no final conclusion on the exact date.
“Three dates – May 11, 18 and 25 – have been thrown up for consideration, but that of May 11 is likely to be adopted going by the body language of his family members.
“Aside that, it is believed that May 11 would be ideal because the government does not want the burial activities to extend into the Democracy Day programmes for May 29, considering that it would be Governor Obi’s last Democracy Day in office.
“However, one thing that is certain is that if he (Achebe) is not buried on May 11, he would be buried anytime immediately after Democracy Day celebration on May 29.”
The literary giant died on March 21, after a brief illness at a hospital in Boston, United States.