Large crowd receive Achebe's body at Enugu Airport

By The Citizen

The remains of the late literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe, arrived at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, and were received by a large crowd of people from his home town, Ogidi in Anambra.

The body, which arrived at about 12.36 p.m. aboard a private aircraft, Overland Nigeria, with registration number 5N-BPE was accompanied by the deceased wife, Prof. Christy Achebe, and children.

The body was received by his elder brother, Chief Augustine Achebe, and other family members, the Secretary to the Enugu State Government (SSG), Mr Amechi Okolo, some Enugu State commissioners and different cultural troupes from Ogidi.

In an interview, Okolo who represented Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu State said the deceased would be missed by both the state and the nation at large.

'We are mourning Achebe today because he was part of the state,'' he said.

Chief Obi Okaro, President of Ogidi Union Nigeria, said Achebe exhibited true leadership qualities during his reign of the union, adding that the community would soon unveil plans to immortalise him.

Prof. Ike Ndolo, a university don, who also came to honour Achebe, suggested that a national monument be named after the literary icon.

Ndolo, who lamented the falling standard in reading in the country, called for a collaborative effort to fight the menace.

The body of Achebe is expected to be taken to the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, where he would be honoured before leaving for Ogidi, where it would be buried on Thursday May 23. (NAN)