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Awka stands still for Achebe

By News Express on 22/05/2013

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It was an emotional day today in Awka, South-East Nigeria, as Anambra people trooped out in large numbers to honour their legendary son, Prof. Chinua Achebe, ahead of his burial tomorrow in his hometown, Ogidi.

Both king and commoner turned up for the great man’s funeral, led by the chief mourner, Governor Peter Obi. The ceremony which witnessed touching tributes, solemn songs and the paying of last respects to the world-famous author was held at the Alex Ekwueme Square in the Anambra State capital.

In his tribute, Secretary to the Government of Anambra State, Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze, a member of the International Funeral Committee and chair of the Anambra State Government Funeral Committee, said: “We are deeply saddened by this tremendous loss of a humble patriot, who though genteel, was widely acknowledged as a legend in his lifetime. Personally, my wife Ofunne and I were privileged to be considered his friend. Chinua Achebe was a role model to us and many across nationalities and across continents. He was a social and political activist and most importantly, a humanist and unrepentant social conscience of Nigeria. He was a true Igbo icon and an eminent Nigerian beyond adjectival qualification.”

The body of Achebe, who died March 31 in his United States base, aged 82, was flown home early yesterday morning, straight to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, from where it was flown to Enugu after a church service at the airport. The body was moved to Awka after a Special Senate Session and Academic Procession in Achebe’s honour by the University of Nigeria, where he taught until a road accident forced him to relocate to the USA.

His burial is expected to be graced by dignitaries from various parts of the world.

Photo shows Governor Obi, followed by other dignitaries, filing past Prof. Achebe’s casket . . . today in Awka.

Source News Express

Posted 23/05/2013 01:04:02 AM

 

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