Having first rejected the award when it was offered to him by then-President Olusegun Obasanjo, who took power after military rule ended in 1999, Achebe rejects this award once again.
Mr Achebe said the concerns he raised about Nigeria when he first rejected the award in 2004 remain unresolved. At the time, Mr Achebe said the situation in poverty and violence-hit Nigeria was becoming worse.
Nigeria’s presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, said his continued rejection was surprising and “flies in the face” of reality. He said Mr Jonathan was surprised that Mr Achebe – who gained worldwide fame for his novel Things Fall Apart – had turned down the Commander of the Federal Republic award, Nigeria’s second highest honour.
He said Mr Achebe – who lives in the US – was probably unaware of the true situation in Nigeria.
“The president continues to hold Prof Achebe in very high esteem in spite of his regrettable decision… and hopes he will find time to visit home soon and see for himself the progress being made by the Jonathan administration,” Mr Abati said.
Do you agree with Achebe’s rejection? What do you think?
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