Anambra State governor, Charles Soludo, has renamed the state-owned international airport in Umueri after Africa’s foremost novelist and author of Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe.
The International Passenger and Cargo Airport built by the immediate past administration of Willie Obiano will henceforth be called Chinua Achebe International Airport, Umueri.
Soludo, at an event commemorating Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Anniversary in Awka, the state capital, on Sunday said there was no other indigene of the state more deserving of the honour than Achebe.
The governor upheld Achebe as an African and global hero who was largely unsung at home.
He recalled that Achebe rejected Nigeria’s national award twice in protest against what he perceived as injustice to his home state of Anambra.
“Today, Anambra will finally honour Chinua Achebe,” he said.
Chinua Achebe, who was born in Ogidi, Anambra State, brought much honour and fame to not just Anambra State and Nigeria but also Africa and the Black world through his writings. His magnum opus, Things Fall Apart, and the works that followed – No Longer At Ease, Arrow of God, Anthills of the Savannah, among others – continue to be studied in schools in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
Soludo said the decision to honour the late literary colossus was arrived at after wide consultations.
“After wide consultations, there is a wide consensus that no one is more deserving to be named after the first airport in Anambra State than Anambra’s all-time greatest literary gift to the world, Chinua Achebe,” Soludo said.
“Anambra will probably need two more airports in the future but this first one will be used to honour him. Consequently, we will and are committed to rename Anambra International Passenger and Cargo Airport Umuede to Chinua Achebe International Airport, Umueri,” he said.