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Novelist, Elechi Amadi dies at 82; as Wike, Dakuku mourn late writer

Elechi Amadi
Elechi Amadi
Iconic novelist, and one of the continent’s finest storytellers, Captain Elechi Amadi, has died.
The Rivers State-born poet and dramatist reportedly died, Wednesday, at the Good Heart hospital in Port Harcourt, the state capital, at the age of 82.
A member of the family, Bar Wabueze Amadi, who confirmed the development, said Amadi passed on at about 3: 45pm at the hospital.
A first generation African writer, Amadi’ s works include; The Concubine, The Great Ponds, Isiburu, Sunset in Biafra, Dance of Johannesburg, Peppersoup, The Road to Ibadan, The Slave , Estrangement.
It would be recalled Amadi celebrated his 80th birthday in Port Harcourt, in 2014 releasing a souvenir edition of one of his plays, Isiburu to mark his 80th birthday.
He was born on 12 May, 1934 in Aluu community, Ikwerre local government area. He attended Government College, Umuahia and went to the University College, Ibadan where he bagged a BSc degree in Physics and Mathematics.
He served in the 3rd Marine Commandos of the Nigerian Army. He was first Commissioner for Education in the old Rivers state and also served as Commissioner for Lands and Housing He had several honours to his credit. He was Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Education and a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He was awarded a honorary doctorate degree by the University of Port Harcourt in 2011. He was abducted by unknown gunmen in 2008 and later released after some days in their custody. He lived in his community, Aluu until his death.
Reacting to Amadi’ s death, Wednesday, Director General, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside described the late novelist as a great Nigerian who will be greatly missed.
“Captain Elechi Amadi, certainly was a man of many parts who touched lives in many ways. And he will be remembered for good by many people who met him physically or through his books. He was a well known author, publisher, soldier and statesman who was concerned about a better society.
“My generation will definitely remember him more for his great books like The Concubine, the Great Ponds, Sunset in Biafra, Estrangement, The Slave and a collection of poems.
“It is regrettable that Amadi passed away at a time when Rivers, our dear state is still far away from the aspirations of its founding fathers like him and most sons and daughters of the state. There is no doubt that Elder Elechi Amadi and other founding fathers will be weeping in their graves at the state of Rivers State. Nigeria and the international literary community has lost a creative giant.
“The departed patriot, no doubt, had a remarkable life and he will surely be remembered for serving humanity with literature and his interventions,” Dakuku said.
On his part, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike expressed sadness over the death of one of Nigeria’s literary icons, Captain Elechi Amadi, describing his passage as a loss to the country.
In a condolence message to the family, people of Rivers State and the entire country, Wike said that Captain Amadi’s contributions to the development of the nation were legendary.
He said that the deceased’s literary works promoted Rivers State, the Niger Delta and the country, hence he would be celebrated by Rivers State and all lovers of literature across the country.
The governor said that Amadi was a consummate patriot, a great literary icon, a soldier’s soldier and development enthusiast.
He prayed God to grant his immediate family the strength to bear the irreparable loss, pointing out that his achievements in different areas of national life will always be remembered.

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