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Umueri community commends Soludo for renaming Anambra Airport after Chinua Achebe

By Christian Aburime

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The people of Umueri in Anambra East Council area have expressed appreciation over the State government’s decision to rename the airport in their Community after Chinụa Achebe.

Governor Soludo had during Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Anniversary Celebration in Awka, announced that the airport would henceforth be known as, “Chinụa Achebe International Airport, Umueri”.

Following the announcement, the Traditional Ruler of Umueri, Igwe Sir Ben Emeka through a letter dated; October, 2, 2023, to Governor Chukwuma Soludo, conveyed the Community’s excitement and appreciation over the timely declaration.

The letter reads in part; “Mr Governor, for me, the icing on the cake in your independence celebration address on October 1, was the recognition, declaration and resonating renaming of the ANAMBRA INTERNATIONAL CARGO AND PASSENGER AIRPORT UMUERI after our iconic, globally acclaimed intellectual and creative son, CHINUA ACHEBE”.

“Mr. Governor, the honour of granting me listening ears during an audience with you in days preceding the renaming of the Airport profoundly resonates with me”.

“Most assuredly, your tenure will continually be accorded my premium support and approbation”.

Ever since governor Soludo made the pronouncement, encomiums have been pouring in from all over the world, hailing it as a fitting tribute to a man who contributed immensely to the upliftment of his home state.

Ogidi-born Prof. Achebe, who passed away in 2013 at age 82, was known and celebrated globally for his intellectual prowess. His dedication and commitment to his work earned him the respect and admiration of all those who knew him.

Soludo disclosed that the decision to rename the airport after the great literary icon was taken as a mark of respect for his contributions to the State and global audience, and as a way of perpetuating his memory.

In the governor’s words, “Achebe, a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic, gave the African literature an identity and a voice and he rightly reconstructed and refined the identity of the people.”

“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”, the Governor added.

The governor revealed 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 emphasized that the declaration was to immortalize Chinụa Achebe for making indelible mark on the history of human civilization.

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