Professor Chinua Achebe’s Letter to President Obasanjo

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It is no news that Okanmuta Chinua Achebe (of blessed memory) wrote President Olusegun Obasanjo to decline an offer of national award in 2004. In case you missed it then, here is it: 
 
“My Dear President Obasanjo,

I write this letter with a very heavy heart. For some time now I have watched events in Nigeria with alarm and dismay. I have watched particularly the chaos in my own state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom. I am appalled by the brazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance, of the Presidency.

Forty three years ago, at the first anniversary of Nigeria’s independence I was given the first Nigerian National Trophy for Literature. In 1979, I received two further honors – the Nigerian National Order of Merit and the Order of the Federal Republic – and in 1999 the first National Creativity Award.

I accepted all these honors fully aware that Nigeria was not perfect; but I had a strong belief that we would outgrow our shortcomings under leaders committed to uniting our diverse peoples.

Nigeria’s condition today under your watch is, however, too dangerous for silence. I must register my disappointment and protest by declining to accept the high honor awarded me in the 2004 Honors List.”

Yours faithfully,

Chinua Achebe
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

 
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About Laz Ude Eze

A public health physician, health systems consultant and an advocate for good governance, health equity and social justice. Authored the book, "A Companion to Practical Pathology" and founded HAPPYNigeria in 2006. I'm also a Brand Ambassador of Social Good Nigeria. To read my full profile, copy and paste this link on your URL and check it out >> http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=35254652&trk=tab_pro Your feedback on all posts are welcome. Follow me on twitter - @donlaz4u.

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