Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has renamed the state’s International Passenger and Cargo Airport in honour of the late Chinua Achebe, a renowned novelist, as a means of immortalizing him for his profound impact on the course of human civilization.
Chinua Achebe, a native of Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government Area of the state, passed away on March 21, 2013, at the age of 82, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Governor Soludo made this announcement on Sunday during the Independence Day parade in Awka, commemorating Nigeria’s 63rd anniversary. He described Achebe as an exemplary figure among Africa’s often overlooked heroes.
“Achebe, a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic, bestowed African literature with a distinct identity and voice, reshaping and refining the identity of the people,” Governor Soludo remarked.
The governor emphasized that Achebe was not just a hero of Anambra or Nigeria but an African and global luminary who remained largely underappreciated at home.
He further conveyed the state’s commitment to actively recognize and celebrate its unsung heroes in order to inspire and motivate children and youth.
Governor Soludo stressed that legacy should not be measured solely in terms of physical infrastructure but rather in the impact on human lives and civilization. Achebe, despite not holding political office or constructing physical landmarks, continues to exert a profound influence on people’s minds.
Achebe had twice declined Nigeria’s national honours as a form of protest against what he perceived as injustice to his home state, Anambra. Now, Anambra is set to honour him by renaming the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport in Umueri to the Chinua Achebe International Airport, Umueri. The governor also expressed the intention to work with the Federal Government to establish its international status.
Governor Soludo urged Nigerians to be deliberate in their efforts to make Nigeria a successful nation and to believe in its potential for greatness. He acknowledged that the journey to stability, growth, and sustainability may be challenging, but stressed the importance of collective efforts to overcome current challenges.
He also emphasized that his administration is rooted in a genuine progressive agenda and will continue to create an enabling environment for the well-being and prosperity of the state’s residents.
Additionally, the Independence Day parade included participation from the police, paramilitary organizations, and students from various schools.
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