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Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo yesterday heaped praises on the late Prof. Chinua Achebe describing him as both a literary icon and a great community leader, who impacted the people of the Ogidi kingdom.
Soludo who spoke at the 10th Memorial Service of Prof. Achebe at St. Philip Anglican Church, Ogidi, organised by Ogidi Kingdom, over the weekend revealed that the lecture Achebe delivered in 1982 has been an inspiration to him, which also made him name his second son after Prof. Achebe.
He noted that Achebe made a great impact as President General of the Ogidi Community and chose to serve his people, rather than to enrich himself.
The governor said that Achebe, most famous for his literary works, did not forget his root as an Igbo man and Ogidi man.
‘Prof Achebe was very proud of Ndigbo across the world, due to his literary works. He knew his root and background as a great Igbo man, who doesn’t hide his identity. I’m calling on Ogidi people to come home to do something at any level for the community.
‘Achebe will remain my role model until death. I encourage our youths to emulate him for his educational feat and community development. The youths should shun cultism. I want Ogidi families to give us more Achebes.
‘Government will immortalise Achebe. We shall put his sculpture at the Ugwuasike Junction and come up with more things to remember him in the state.’
The traditional ruler of Ogidi, Igwe Alex Onyido, in his speech, pleaded with the governor to immortalise Prof. Achebe by building a university and naming the airport after him, among other things.
The former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, in his keynote address, x-rayed Achebe’s achievements adding that he shared Achebe’s view that the trouble with Nigeria is leadership.
The traditional ruler of Ogidi, Igwe Alex Onyido, in his remarks, pledged to donate enough land for the citing of the proposed Achebe University in Ogidi town.