As Nigeria and the world mourns the passing away of literary giant, Prof Chinua Achebe, two of his colleagues and fellow veteran writers, Prof Wole Soyinka and J.P. Clark have said his death might have been caused by the bomb attacks at a Kano motor park on Monday.
The duo issued a joint statement on Friday, noting that his death might have been hastened by the shock from the violence that those they described as Achebe’s people suffered during the attacks.
The statement, which was titled, “On the Passing of Chinua Achebe”, read as follows:
“For us, the loss of Chinua Achebe is, above all else, intensely personal. We have lost a brother, a colleague, a trailblazer and a doughty fighter.
“Of the ‘pioneer quartet’ of contemporary Nigerian literature, two voices have been silenced – one, of the poet Christopher Okigbo, and now, the novelist Chinua Achebe.
“It is perhaps difficult for outsiders of that intimate circle to appreciate this sense of depletion, but we take consolation in the young generation of writers to whom the baton has been passed, those who have already creatively ensured that there is no break in the continuum of the literary vocation.
“We need to stress this at a critical time of Nigerian history, where the forces of darkness appear to overshadow the illumination of existence that literature represents.
“These are forces that arrogantly pride themselves implacable and brutal enemies of what Chinua and his pen represented, not merely for the African continent, but for humanity.
“Indeed, we cannot help wondering if the recent insensate massacre of Chinua’s people in Kano, only a few days ago, hastened the fatal undermining of that resilient will that had sustained him so many years after his crippling accident.”