Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State, has renamed the state’s International Passenger and Cargo Airport after late Chinua Achebe, a novelist, to immortalise him for making an indelible mark on the history of human civilization.
Achebe, a native of Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state, died on March 21, 2013, at age 82, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Soludo said this on Sunday in Awka at the Independence Day parade, to mark Nigeria’s 63rd anniversary, describing Achebe as an example of Africa’s unsung hero.
“Achebe, a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic, gave the African literature an identity and a voice and he rightly reconstructed and refined the identify of the people,” he said.
The governor said that Achebe was not just an Anambra hero nor a Nigerian hero, but an African and global hero and yet largely unsung at home.
He said that henceforth, the state shall be deliberate in fishing out and celebrating its largely unsung heroes as motivation to children and youths.
“Unfortunately, some people wrongly think of legacies in terms of brick and mortar. Legacy is about impact on human life and human civilisation.
“Achebe was not a president or governor or military. He did not build bridges or roads or airports but he will outlive most presidents, governors and ministers in our minds.
“Achebe rejected Nigeria’s national honours twice in protest against what he perceived as injustice to his home state Anambra. Today, Anambra will finally honour him.
“After wide consultations, there is a broad consensus that no one is more deserving to be named after the first airport in Anambra than Anambra’s all-time greatest literary gift to the world, Chinua Achebe.