The Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has announced the renaming of the Anambra International Airport after the late literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe.
Soludo disclosed this on Sunday during the Independence Day celebration at Dr Alex Ekwueme Square in Awka, the state capital, pronouncing that the airport will now be called, “Chinua Achebe International Airport, Umueri.”
Explaining the rationale behind his decision, Soludo said, “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 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, a governor or a 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.”