TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center


By Emeka Obasi

As South-east governors work out befitting funeral rites for Prof. Chinua Achebe,former Abia state governor Dr.Orji Uzor Kalu Monday advised them not to tribalise the whole arrangement.

Kalu specifically asked for the inclusion of Achebe's friends Profs. Wole Soyinka ,John Bekederemor Clark and admirer Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos in the Burial Committee.

He said,"Achebe,Soyinka and Clark were so close,right from their University College Ibadan days and spoke with one voice a few weeks before his passage.Fashola identified with the icon even even when many Yoruba politicians pilloried him following his last work.Achebe,in death,would like to be identified with these men".

The ex-governor explained that Achebe was not only a great Nigerian who wanted the best for the Igbo,but also wanted the country to live in peace.

"Perhaps,not many know that Achebe met his wife in Ibadan,and also spent time in Lagos working with Radio Nigeria.He spoke out when others chose to tie their tongues in silence.Posterity will recognise him as a prophet who lived ahead of his time,"Kalu added.

He mooted the idea of bringing some authors of the African Writers Series(AWS) to Ogidi to honour their founding Editor.

"I would like to see Ngugi Wa Thiongo, so that Achebe's children weep no more,whileAyi Kwei Armah,Ali Mazrui,Keneth Kaunda eulogise him as a man of the people.At the same time, Onuorah Nzekwu,Gabriel Okara,Elechi Amadi,Kole Omotosho and Eddie Iroh would make sure things do not fall apart when even brave hearts are no longer at ease as the body is committed to mother earth,"Kalu said.