Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his kinsmen in Aluu, have eulogised the late Elechi Amadi as great opinion moulder and writer per excellence.
Atiku expressed his condolences to the family of Elechi Amadi, the government and of people of Rivers State, and to all Nigerians, many of whom grew up reading Amadi’s books as part of their recommended texts in various schools.
“Just like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and several eminent writers of their generation, Elechi Amadi made Nigeria proud, causing our literary star to shine all over the world.”
The Turaki Adamawa also commiserated with all lovers of Nigerian literature around the world, reminding them that, even though Elechi Amadi may have left this world, his works would live on forever.
From Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa described the demise of the renowned author, poet and novelist as tragic and a monumental loss to the literary world.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ehiedu Aniagwu, Okowa said: “We have lost a great man whose contributions to the literary world can best be described as legendary.
“He will be sorely missed by those whose lives he affected in many ways with his literary arsenal. I therefore urge all who mourn the demise of the late Elechi Amadi to take solace in the fact that he remains alive through his literary works.”
Aluu community, in Ikwerre Local Government area of Rivers State has been in mourning mood following Amadi’s death.Amadi, 82, a retired army officer and former commissioner for education in Rivers, died on Wednesday in Port Harcourt.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who visited the community on Thursday reported that many residents received the news of Amadi`s death with shock.
Some of the residents said they would miss him, especially his fatherly role and philanthropist disposition.
Chief Adi Wali, a cousin to Amadi, told newsmen that his death was a big shock to the community.
“We have lost a father, brother and an icon. It is a big shock to this community. It is an end of a generation that can never be brought back,” he said.
Wali said the late author was the light of the community, adding that they were yet to come to terms with his death.
“We lost an educationist, a pathfinder and a colossus. I do not know when we can get somebody like him again,” he said.
He said as permanent secretary in the state Ministry of Education, Amadi played a prominent role in locating a campus of the University of Port Harcourt at Aluu.
Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Rivers chapter, Mr. Uzor Nwamara, said some executive members of the group were with Amadi in the hospital an hour before he died.
“It was, indeed, very painful to hear that he passed on an hour after leaving him in the hospital,” he said.
“It is beyond a shock. Amadi was a father, philanthropist and a founding member of ANA in the country,’’ he said.
Senator Uche Ekwunife, in her tribute, said: “Elechi Amadi’s death is a great loss to Nigeria.”
Ekwunife said the country has lost yet another great writer, whose intellectual gift was a blessing to entire black race.
She added that through his books, “he conveyed the rich but diverse cultural affinity of Nigeria.”