As the world continues to mourn the demise of literary icon and social crusader, Prof. Chinua Achebe, a university lecturer, Prof. P.A. Anyanwu, has called on Nigerians, especially the younger generation to emulate the sterling virtues of the legendary statesman.
Prof. Anyanwu who is Head of Department of English Language and Literature, Imo State University, spoke to Christian Voice in his office recently, in Owerri
He described Achebe, who was buried on May 23, 2013, in his hometown, Ogidi in Anambra State as a rare breed, saying that he discovered himself earlier and God crowned his efforts while he made optimum use of the resources available to him.
Prof. Anyanwu extolled Achebe’s gift of creativity and power of imagination, saying that they were the tools that enabled him to conquer the literary world. His courage to speak against injustice, corruption and man’s inhumanity to man endeared him to all.
On corrupt and inept leadership in all strata of national life, the university don maintained that not all Nigerians and their leaders are corrupt. He said that the society is by nature very complex, comprising both bad and good people, adding that unfortunately, some bad elements have found themselves in the positions of power and authority thereby bringing shame to Nigeria.
Prof. Anyanwu, however, said that Ndigbo can still boast of numerous true sons and daughters, despite the toss of Achebe.
He advised up-coming generations to always work very hard, be honest, be courageous and be bold to speak against injustice and oppression, be resolute and resilient while pursuing our dreams and vision. By so doing Nigeria will take their pride of place in the comity of nations.
Since his passing on in Boston, United States of America on Thursday, 21 March, 2013, there have been socio-cultural earthquake around the world, followed with torrents of tributes.
Paying the late literary genius a homage, Nigerian House of Representatives on a motion No. HE79/2013 of 26 March, 2013 noted that Chinua Achebe brought honour to Nigeria with his literary works, and used same to fight against injustice, corruption, oppression and bad governance.
Members subsequently urged the Federal Government to name the National Library Headquarters Abuja after him.
In its’ tribute, the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stated that “only the mortal remains of Chinua Achebe can die, but Chinua Achebe lives forever”.
Anglican Bishop of Awka, Rt. Rev. Alex Ibezim prayed to God to raise more Achebes so that the country would grow morally and in godliness.
Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State was moved to ascribe a place in Heaven for Achebe, judging by the global tributes and unprecedented crowd that to pay a homage.
Thirteen years ago, on the occasion of the 70th birthday of the late literary icon, former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela described him as a writer in whose company the prison walls fell down.
Others described him as social critic, activist, poet, literary prophet, philosopher and statesman. The late Achebe had rejected national award of commander of Federal Republic twice, citing corrupt and inept leadership.