A barrage of tributes and condolences has flown in, inundating his family, friends and loved ones. And now his brothers-in-arts have weighed in on his demise, with opinions of gold and wisdom. In a joint statement released to the Punch Newspaper, fellow literature icons Prof. Wole Soyinka and J.P Clark are of the view that Achebe’s death might be unconnected with the recent Kano bombing carried out by the extremist Boko haram sect
The statement titled “On the Passing of Chinua Achebe,” reads:
“For us, the loss of Chinua Achebe is, above all else, intensely personal. We have lost a brother, a colleague, a trailblazer and a doughty fighter.
“Of the ‘pioneer quartet’ of contemporary Nigerian literature, two voices have been silenced – one, of the poet Christopher Okigbo, and now, the novelist Chinua Achebe.
“It is perhaps difficult for outsiders of that intimate circle to appreciate this sense of depletion, but we take consolation in the young generation of writers to whom the baton has been passed, those who have already creatively ensured that there is no break in the continuum of the literary vocation.
“We need to stress this at a critical time of Nigerian history, where the forces of darkness appear to overshadow the illumination of existence that literature represents.
“These are forces that arrogantly pride themselves implacable and brutal enemies of what Chinua and his pen represented, not merely for the African continent, but for humanity.
“Indeed, we cannot help wondering if the recent insensate massacre of Chinua’s people in Kano, only a few days ago, hastened the fatal undermining of that resilient will that had sustained him so many years after his crippling accident.”
Even though he lived far away in U.S.A, Achebe was still connected to his roots and followed closely the happenings in Nigeria.
Achebe was born on November 16, 1930 in Ogidi Anambra State. His book Things Fall Apart, published in 1958 is considered the most widely read book in modern African Literature.
He recently released a book, There Was A Country, about the civil war which currently is kicking up dust and stirring controversy all over the world.