Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Wednesday expressed sadness on the death of renowned poet and playwright, Prof John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo.
The Governor in a statement issued in Asaba by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, said the literary world had lost an enigma whose works would continue to dominate the contemporary Nigerian society.
The literary giant breathed his last on Tuesday at a Lagos hospital at 85, hailed from Kiagbodo in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, and was a younger brother to former Information Minister, Chief Edwin Clark.
Okowa, who described the passage as a great loss to the country and the literary world, extolled the immense contributions of the late writer to the growth and development of literature in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.
‘The literary works of Prof JP Clark promoted Delta, Nigeria and Africa, hence his demise was being celebrated by lovers of literature all over the world.
‘As a serial award-winner in poetry, the late Prof Clark was a consummate patriot, a great literary icon and a teacher par excellence, whose literary publications inspired deep thoughts, especially on social-economic and political themes.
On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I commiserate with the Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family over the passing of renowned poet, literary giant and playwright, Emeritus Professor John Pepper Clark.
‘He will be sorely missed by all whose lives he affected in many ways with his literary works,’ he said.
Okowa urged all who mourn the demise of the late Professor to take solace in the fact that he ‘remains alive through his literary works.’
He prayed God to grant his immediate family, the Ijaw nation and lovers of literature, the strength to bear the irreparable loss, pointing out that his numerous achievements in the literary world would continue to be remembered.