Senate on Wednesday eulogised the late literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe, demanding a state burial for him.
The renowned author died on March 21 in the United States at the age of 82.
Senator representing Anambra Central, Chris Ngige, brought a motion, signed by all the senators, drawing attention to Achebe’s contributions to the growth of literature and political activism.
Ngige noted that Achebe was a world figure and personality, who brought fame and prestige to humanity through his literary work.
Describing Achebe as “a social critic, an activist poet, a principled personae, who denied himself several accolades”, Ngige noted that the late professor of Literature marketed and exported Nigerian and African culture to many countries of the world.
Ngige added, “Despite his incapacitation, he continued to be active in his work and intellectual contributions to the richness of life, the arts and culture of Nigeria and Africa during that period, published several works, including his latest work, There was a country.
“Achebe’s death was a monumental loss to his family, the people of Anambra Central Senatorial District, Anambra State, Nigeria, Africa and the world.
“Achebe was a patriot, who loved his country and was always in constant touch with home even while on his wheelchair in the USA. He criticised government at home when necessary, especially when they had not done well.”
The Senate later unanimously adopted the prayers in the motion, and urged the Federal Government to grant him a state funeral in order to promote and highlight his excellence.
The lawmakers also urged the Federal Government to name a major highway or street in Abuja as well as a monument after Achebe.
After the vote, the senators rose for a minute’s silence in his honour and raised a delegation to visit and commiserate with his family and the government of Anambra State.
President of the Senate, David Mark noted that as students in the 1960s, they did not consider Achebe and other authors as humans, adding that it was not possible to describe the personality of Achebe in words.
Mark said, “He was a patriotic Nigerian, who took the country to the highest possible levels. He was a detribalised Nigerian, a nationalist to the core. His use of simple words to explain complex situations cannot be matched by any Nigerian in the country.
“The most befitting farewell, tribute, or burial that can be given to him, is to ensure that things do no longer fall apart in this country and he will remain at ease wherever he is.”