The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said that the best way to honour the late playwright and novelist, Professor Chinua Achebe who passed on Thursday is for the leadership to work hard and make Nigeria the pride of every black man.
Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who made the remarks described Achebe as a global icon for all time and an outstanding Nigerian brand, adding that his death was a monumental loss not only to Nigeria but to the entire world.
”Prof. Achebe’s nationalist and democratic credentials were unassailable. He loved Nigeria with a passion and used the platform offered by his global exposure to call attention, time and again, to the years of misrule in his homeland, which must have left a gaping hole in his heart till he breathed his last. In one of his most poignant acts, he twice turned down the national honours bestowed on him by the Federal Government to show his disapproval for the brigandage and anti-democratic antics of the government of the day, especially as it concerns his home state of Anambra, where a sitting governor was abducted in the full glare of the police by scoundrels who also pillaged and plundered state institutions. By that singular act, he gave hope and voice to Nigerians who have been tormented endlessly by those who hold power but lack the responsibility attached to it, those who substituted national interests with their personal, parochial interests, and those who have turned Nigeria into a laughing stock in the comity of nations with their endless looting of the national treasury,’’ he said.
Mohammed said that the federal government that lambasted him for rejecting the award is now writing glowingly about him. “A man they should have used to sell Nigeria to the world without squirreling away millions of dollars was pilloried to no end by those who are not fit to lace his shoes. Now, he’s gone! What a missed opportunity for a nation without a soul!”, the party lamented.
“Another lesson that Nigerians should learn from Prof. Achebe is that one can excel doing whatever he does best and in spite of any disability that may come one’s way in life. Prof. Achebe stuck to his calling all through his life, and yet achieved a global acclaim. Lesser beings would have leveraged their achievements to join the fat cats on the boards of huge companies, smiling to the bank all the way. Lesser beings would have curried favour from the government of the day, irrespective of its record. Even after he was involved in a road crash, itself a result of years of misrule and corruption that have turned our roads to death traps and hospitals to mortuaries, he refused to be silenced. From his wheelchair, his voice rang out loud and clear to the world, on behalf of the poor, the deprived and the oppressed in his homeland. This is the Achebe we remember, and we are sure the one whom most Nigerians revere,” the party said.