Posted by Pamela Eboh, Ogidi | 23 May 2013 | 3,613 times
It was a gathering of the high and mighty as well as commoners as legendary writer, Prof. Chinualumogu Achebe, was this afternoon laid to rest in his country home in Ogidi, Anambra State in Nigeria’s South-East.
The church service which started at exactly 11:15 a.m. at St. Philip’s Anglican Church, Ogidi, had in attendance President Goodluck Jonathan, President John Mahama of Ghana, former Vice President Alex Ekwueme and wife, Senator Chris Ngige, Governors of Imo, Abia, Delta, representatives of Governors of Ebonyi, Enugu and Cross River, Ministers of Labour, Power, Aviation, and Foreign Affairs, among other dignitaries.
In his sermon, the representative of the Primate of the Anglican Church, Archbishop of Aba Province, Ikechukwu Nwosu, preached on the theme “Prof. Chinua Achebe, a Parable to the Nigerian Nation.” He said of the fallen star: “You started your life from the village primary school right here, you went out to the world, you saw everything, conquered and came back to where you started.”
Nwosu added that Achebe has put Nigeria on the international map despite the negative reports about the country.
While urging Nigerians to pursue education, he also appealed to them to forgive late Achebe for turning down a national honour, saying that was a “parable.”
In his speech, President Jonathan reminisced on late Achebe’s literary works with particular reference to the book, The Trouble with Nigeria.
“All of us, no matter what you are must work hard. We can make a change for our grandchildren or maybe late Achebe’s grandchild to also write There Was a Country,” he said.
Continuing, the Nigerian leader said: “I appreciate God for bringing someone like Chinua Achebe from here, the heartland of Igbo land. He was a great man and I call him a philosopher because he used literature to express his ideas.”
Also speaking, the host Governor, Peter Obi thanked the guests for gracing the occasion and prayed God to grant late Achebe’s family the fortitude to bear the loss.
“We can only thank God for the good life Achebe lived while he was here with us,” he said.
President Mahama of Ghana in a short speech idolised late Achebe. According to him, the late Professor was not just a writer but something much more. “Today is a celebration of life,” he said of the literary guru who died March 21 aged 83.
Achebe’s widow, Mrs. Christy Achebe, simply sang her late husband’s favourite song, Kpo ya Chukwu na oga aza . . . (“Call him God and he shall answer….”)
Also speaking, Achebe’s first son, Dr. Chidi Achebe, thanked President Jonathan for his prompt show of love, care and affection towards his family after the passing of his father and for also ensuring that he was given a burial he deserved.
•Photo by Mazi Odera shows (L-R) President Mahama, President Jonathan, Governor Obi and Mrs. Obi at Achebe’s burial, today in Ogidi.
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