Gabriel Okara

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari commiserated with the family, the government and people of Bayelsa State over the passage of the renowned poet, novelist and playwright, Gabriel Okara, aged 98.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina on Monday, made available to newsmen quoted the President as saying that, “on behalf of the Federal Executive Council, the President extends heartfelt commiserations to the Okara family, the government and people of Bayelsa State, the literary community and all who drank from the writer’s fountain of knowledge.

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“As a dedicated and well-published writer in all the literary genres, President Buhari believes Okara, who was deservedly known as the ‘‘founder of Modern African literature’’ will be fondly remembered for his immense contributions to the development of African literature, drawing on experience from his native Ijaw language.

“The President extols the great story-teller whose powerful use of imagery and symbolism in his literary writings helped the world to appreciate and understand the richness, complexities and uniqueness of the African heritage and culture,” the statement reads.

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President Buhari however used the medium to pray Almighty God to grant the soul of the departed writer peaceful repose and comfort all who mourn.

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