BY RAYMOND OZOJI, Awka
The President-General Umueri General Assembly Anambra-East Local Government Area of Anambra State, Amb. Chief Dr. John Chukwudi Metchie has congratulated Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo for renaming Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport Umueri after the late renowned literary giant Professor Chinua Achebe.
Metchie who told our correspondent in an exclusive interview that the immortalization of Chinua Achebe by Governor Soludo was a worthwhile decision, said legends of Anambra origin who have left indelible footprints in the sands of time, should not be forgotten instead they should be remembered for their immense contributions to human development.
Metchie said, ” Our governor is visionary. He is very meticulous with decision making and as a matter of public policy, he ensures that every decision taken by his administration is in tandem with the wishes and aspirations of the citizenry. ”
The community leader noted that late Professor Chinua Achebe was not just an ambassador of the Igbo nation but also attained global recognition with his literary works.
He said one of Chinua Achebe’s works ‘ Things Fall Apart ” have been translated into many different local and international languages all over the world, adding that the renaming of Anambra airport after him was a well deserved honour.
Metchie who stated that the renowned novelist was a native of Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state and died at the age of 82, maintained that a prophet is not celebrated amongst his people which was why he extolled the governor’s decision in renaming Anambra airport after the late sage.
The community leader therefore described Chinua Achebe as a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic who gave the African literature an identity and a voice and also reconstructed and refined the identity of the people in his literary works.
Metchie was cognisant of the fact that the late literary icon was not just an Anambra hero nor a Nigerian hero, but an African and global hero yet largely unsung at home.
He said Achebe was not a president or governor or military. That he did not build bridges or roads or airports but will outlive most presidents, governors and ministers, noting that the late literary giant rejected Nigeria’s national honours twice in protest against what he perceived as injustice to his home state Anambra.
He therefore re-echoed his profound gratitude to Governor Soludo for finding the late literary oracle, Professor Chinua Achebe worthy of such an honour and announcing same at an auspicious occasion as the 63rd Independence Anniversary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.