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Soludo renames Anambra airport after literary icon, Chinua Achebe



Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State

Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo has renamed the state’s International Passenger and Cargo Airport after late novelist Chinua Achebe in order to honour him for leaving an everlasting effect on the history of human civilization.

Achebe, a native of Ogidi in the state’s Idemili North Local Government Area, died on March 21, 2013, at the age of 82, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Soludo made the remarks on Sunday at the Independence Day celebration in Awka to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd anniversary, praising 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 stated.

The governor stated that Achebe was not only an Anambra or Nigerian hero, but also an African and global hero who went largely unnoticed at home.

He stated that the state will be more diligent in seeking out and honouring its largely unsung heroes in order to inspire children and youngsters in the future.

“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.

“Consequently, we will rename the Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport, Umueri, to Chinua Achebe International Airport, Umueri.

“Yes, it has to be an international airport, and we hope to work with the Federal Government to give full effect to its international status,” he said.

Soludo urged Nigerians to be intentional about making the project Nigeria work and believe in the potential greatness of the country.

“We have muddled through the past 63 years with squandered opportunities and yet with the promise of potential greatness.

“No country or nation is a perfect. Every nation continues to struggle in its match to a more perfect union. The path to stability, growth and sustainability will be challenging as there are no quick fixes.

“But all of us must collectively think and work Nigeria out of the current challenges. We have no other country but Nigeria, and we must make it to work for everyone, “he said.

The governor said his administration was founded on the true progressive agenda and would continue to create the enabling environment for residents to thrive and survive.