Friday, 26 April 2013

# Africa News # Chinua Achebe

Late African Literary Icon: Prof. Chinua Achebe Body to Arrive on May 21

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The remains of the late literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe, is expected to arrive at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport on May 21 and be buried on May 23.

The Chairman, Chinua Achebe’s National Transition Committee, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala, said this yesterday in Abuja while briefing journalists on the one-week transition programme in honour of the late author.

Nwala said Achebe's body would, after a reception in Abuja, depart for Akanu-Ibiam International Airport Enugu the same day where Igbo leaders and the academic community would receive him for a procession at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.

Achebe died in Boston, United States of America on  March 21, at the age of 82 years.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, at the press briefing, described Achebe as a detribalised Nigerian and a citizen of the world who deserves a befitting burial.

He urged all lovers of the late icon to receive his body at the airport when it arrives.  The arrival time was however not stated.

“After due consultation with the family, the governors of South-east states , the academic community and all other stakeholders, the programme has been drawn, leading to his burial in accordance with his Christian faith,” Ekweremadu  said.

The senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial district, Chris Ngige, also at the briefing said the Senate had  listed Achebe on the order list for May 15.

He said the literary icon who rejected a national honour of the Federal Government of Nigeria due to the crisis that rocked Anambra State at that time, deserved the best of burials.
He noted that Achebe was unhappy with the nonchalant attitude of the federal government to the nefarious activities of some leaders in the state, which informed his decision to reject the national honour.

There will be prayers and religious worship in honour of the deceased on May 19 at the National Christian Centre Abuja, a symposium by the Association of Nigerian Author  (ANA) and showers of tribute at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on May 20, before the body departs for Anambra State on May 22.

The one week programme also include celebration of life carnival at the Alex Ekwueme Stadium on May 22 and May 23 for interment. Jumat service by Muslim friends on Friday at the Abuja Central Mosque and Ikwa Ozu on Saturday at Achebe’s family compound.

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