Independence: Anambra State Government Renames Airport After Chinua Achebe
While celebrating the Independence of Nigeria from the British at the Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka, Anambra State.
The Anambra state Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, while addressing the public announced the renaming of the state International Airport after late, Prof. Chinua Achebe, Nigerian award winning novelist, poet, and critic who became popular with his novel titled ‘Things Fall Apart’.
This was made known on Sunday, 1st October, 2023. Soludo revealed that before he became the state governor, many projects had been named after public office holders, but his government decided to breakout of the norm, by honouring anyone who contributed immensely to the independence of Nigeria in 1960, despite the persons occupation or profession.
In his words;
“We must say that you don’t have to hold a political position to contribute to the advancement of our civilisation.
“Henceforth, we shall be deliberate in fishing out and celebrating our largely unsung heroes, as a 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 the late Prof. Chinua Achebe. Achebe was not a president or a 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.” He said.
He went further to plead with Anambrains to support his government, to ensure that there is orderliness in the state and pledged that his government will always bring positive change to the State.