Soludo Renames Anambra Airport 'Chinua Achebe International Airport'

Soludo Renames Anambra Airport ‘Chinua Achebe International Airport’

10 months ago
1 min read

By Sylvester Ugochukwu Ugwuanyi

 

The Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, on Sunday changed the name of the state-owned international airport in Umueri to Chinua Achebe International Airport, Umueri, stressing that there is no other indigene of the state more deserving.

The International Passenger and Cargo Airport was built by the immediate past administration in the state led by Willie Obiano.

Speaking at an event commemorating Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Anniversary in Awka, the Governor upheld Achebe as an African and global hero who was largely unsung at home.

Going down memory lane, Soludo disclosed that “Achebe rejected Nigeria’s national award twice in protest against what he perceived as injustice to his home state, Anambra. Today, Anambra will finally honour Chinua Achebe.”

READ ALSO: Soludo Likens Tinubu’s Economic Inheritance From Buhari To ‘Dead Horse’

Only yesterday, erstwhile Secretary to the Anambra State Government, Oseloka Obaze was at Princeton University, in New Jersey, United States to pay glowing tribute to Achebe who he described as Africa’s Voice and Nigeria’s Conscience.

According to Obaze, who is of a different political camp from the Governor, “Achebe, as we all know, understood and wrote extensively about Nigeria. At times, he did so presciently. When the voice of Nigeria’s moral majority was doused and subjugated, he intervened and wrote scathing dissents.

“In two instances -2004 and 2011 – he rejected high national awards in protestation of the squalid ‘bankrupt and lawless fiefdom’ Nigeria had become. For such steadfastness, he was loved and is continually epitomized and eulogized.

“Achebe in his lifetime influenced many people, writers, politicians, philosophers, and youths, and did so effortlessly. Yet Achebe suffered and perhaps still suffers from the bane and fate of erstwhile Biblical Prophets. I suspect that he has never been fully appreciated in his homeland. This may explain the paradox of why he is today being celebrated in the United States and not in Nigeria. The other reason, of course, is rhetorical – in Nigeria, Things Have Fallen Apart and the nation is No Longer at Ease.”

In the main, Governor Soludo while honoring the late literary colossus declared on Sunday, “After wide consultations, there is a wide consensus that no one is more deserving to be named after the first airport in Anambra State than Anambra’s all-time greatest literary gift to the world, Chinua Achebe.

“Anambra will probably need two more airports in the future but this first one will be used to honor him. Consequently, we will and are committed to rename Anambra International Passenger and Cargo Airport Umuede to Chinua Achebe International Airport, Umueri.”


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