Achebe’s rejection of national honour regrettable- Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed regrets over the decision of renowned writer and author of “Things Fall Apart”, Prof. Chinua Achebe to reject, for the second time, the conferment on him of the national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR).
According to a statement by Presidential spokesman, Dr. Rueben Abati on Sunday, President Jonathan is surprised by Prof. Achebe’s claim that the issues which caused him to reject the same award seven years ago, still remain unresolved.
A report had quoted Achebe as saying that “the reasons for rejecting the offer when it was first made have not been addressed let alone solved. It is inappropriate to offer it again to me. I must therefore regretfully decline the offer again.”
Achebe had first rejected a similar award in 2004 from ex- President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Abati, however, said that against the background of the widely acclaimed electoral reforms undertaken by the Jonathan administration, the claim by Prof. Achebe clearly flies in the face of the reality of Nigeria’s current political situation.
“As reflected in the immense improvements recorded in the conduct of the last general elections which were applauded within and outside the country as the most credible elections in Nigeria in recent years, the Jonathan administration has made tremendous efforts to positively change the political architecture complained about by Prof. Achebe and other Nigerians,” Abati stated.
While President Jonathan acknowledges that there are still challenges in the country’s path to the attainment of its full potentials as a nation, Abati said he believes that this administration is moving the country in the right direction and therefore deserves the support, encouragement and cooperation of all citizens.
“The President continues to hold Prof. Achebe in very high esteem in spite of his regrettable decision which may have been borne out of misinformation as to the true state of affairs in Nigeria and hopes that he will find time to visit home soon and see the progress being made by the Jonathan administration for himself.
“Prof. Achebe remains in President Jonathan’s consideration, a national icon, a Nigerian of high attainments, indeed one of the greatest living Africans of our time,” Abati said.