By Jude Michael
Late literary icon, Prof Chinua Achebe
Anambra State governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, has announced the renaming of the Anambra International Airport after late literary icon, Prof Chinua Achebe.
Soludo revealed this during the Independence Day celebration at Dr Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka, the state capital.
Soludo stated that it was heartwarming that a good number of those who contributed to the independence of Nigeria in 1960, had had varying degrees of projects named after them.
He however noted that almost all whom projects had been named after were public office holders. He said his government would break away from the norm to recognize Achebe by naming the Anambra Airport after him.
‘We must signal that you don’t have to hold political position to contribute to the advancement of our civilization.
‘Henceforth, we shall be deliberate in fishing out and celebrating our largely unsung heroes as motivation to our children and youths in terms of what matters, including distinguished teachers, medical and other professionals, persons of honesty and integrity, philanthropists with known sources of wealth, entrepreneurs/job creators, community leaders/developers, clergy with great devotion, etc.
‘An example of Africa’s unsung hero is late Professor Albert Chinualumogu Achebe.
‘Achebe was not a president or governor or minister. He did not build bridges or roads or airports. But he will outlive most presidents, governors or ministers.
‘Achebe gave the African Literature an identity and a voice. In a way, he rightly reconstructed and redefined who we are and we will never forget. Indeed, he was not an Anambra hero, nor a Nigerian hero. He was an African and global hero, and yet, largely unsung at home.
‘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,’ Soludo said.