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The Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has explained why he renamed the state’s International passenger and cargo airport in honour of the late novelist, writer, and critic.
The Eastern Updates recalls that while speaking at the state’s Independence Day parade in Awka on Sunday to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of Nigeria, Mr. Soludo has stated that the state will continue to seek out and celebrate its unsung heroes, as a way to motivate children and young people.
He added that “Legacies” are not only about physical structures but also about the impact they have on people’s lives and civilizations.
Soludo noted that “Chinua was a Nigerian writer, a poet, and a critic who gave African literature a voice and helped to reconstruct and refine the identity of the people,” adding that ‘he was not only a hero of the Anambra people, but a hero of the African and global community.’
Achebe who was born and raised in Ogidi, a suburb of Idemili in the state’s northern local government area, died on 21st March 2013, aged 82.
Chinua Achebe, who refused to accept Nigeria’s national honours twice due to what he saw as unfair treatment of his home state of Anambra, will finally be honoured by Anambra today.
After extensive consultations, it has been determined that no one could be more deserving of being named after Anambra’s first airport than Achebe, the author of Anambra’s greatest literary achievement.
As a result, Anambra’s International Cargo and Passenger (ICP) Airport (Umuero) will be renamed Chinua Achebe Int’l Airport (IICA) in honour of Achebe.
Soludo called on Nigerians to be dedicated to making the IICA a reality and to have faith in the country’s potential for growth and stability.
He noted that the past 63 years have been a time of missed opportunities, but that the future is still bright.
However, he said, “We must work together as a nation to find a solution to Nigeria’s current problems.” He added, “Nigeria is our only country, and we need to make it work for everyone.”
The Governor said that his administration is based on a progressive agenda and will continue to create an environment where people can grow and thrive.