Putu the Cat

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Monday, October 18, 2004

Thanks, but no thanks

Nigerian literary giant Chinua Achebe has declined the 'Commander of the Federal Republic' title that the Nigerian government tried to bestow on him. He told the Olesegun Obasanjo government that given the present state of the country he was unable to accept the award. He expressed his reasons for turning down one of the nation's highest awards in a letter to the Guardian newspaper. "I write this letter with a very heavy heart. For some time now I have watched events in Nigeria with alarm and dismay. I have watched particularly the chaos in my own state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom...I am appalled by the brazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance of the Presidency...Nigeria's condition today under your watch is, however, too dangerous for silence...I must register my disappointment and protest by declining to accept the high honour awarded me in the 2004 Honours list."


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