ANAMBRA State Government has promised to play a prominent role in the burial of late Prof. Chinua Achebe.
Anambra State’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Mike Udah, who revealed the plan, said Achebe would be buried in a carnival-like manner.
The promise is coming at a time when the burial date seems be in doubt as no one from Achebe’s family could confirm or deny the speculated May date to The Guardian.
When The Guardian visited the home town of the renowned professor, members of the immediate family, Ogidi community leaders and officials of the state government expressed shock at the May date announcement.
While Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Culture, Chief Joe-Martins Uzodike, expressed shock at the source and manner of the burial date announcement, some of the professor’s relatives said ‘Ogidi was yet to properly announce the demise of Achebe in the customary way’.
Uzodike said that the state government was yet to make official statement on the burial date and arrangement pending the return of Gov. Peter Obi, who have traveled to US to discuss with Achebe’s family.
President General of Ogidi Union Nigeria (OUN), Dr. Eric Obiakor, who said he has opened a condolence register at Ogidi Townhall to complement the one at the family house of Achebe, said no one in Achebe’s family have mentioned the May date to him, even though he has been in regular contact with the family.
The National President of Ikenga-Ogidi Union, Chief Amechi Ekume, said the burial date of the renowned author could not be possibly announced without the knowledge of and consultation with the international community, the Federal Government, state governments and Ogidi community.
Dame Ngozi, who earlier gave the May date, however, re-affirmed her comment on the burial date.
Meanwhile over 170 tributes made it to the condolence register opened at the University of Nigeria Nnsukka (UNN) as staff and students of the university poured out their hearts unto the pages in honour of departed writer. Prince Sam Ezeanyika and Dr. Jonathan Okere, senior lecturers at the Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri, Imo State, also paid tributes to the late literary icon.
-------------Chuks Collins (Awka), Uzoma Nzeagwu (Awka) and Charles Ogugbuaja (Owerri)