President of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his utmost sadness over the exit of the renowned poet, novelist an, playwright, Pa Gabriel Okara, who died at the age of 97.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in the person of Mr. Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Monday, the president extended his condolences to the Okara family.
The President also condoled with the government and people of Bayelsa, the literary at large, and the entire community of all who drank from the writer’s fountain of knowledge.
The President believed that Okara, who was deservedly known as the ‘‘founder of Modern African literature’’ would be fondly remembered for his immense contributions to the development of African literature, drawing on experience from his native Ijaw language.
The President extolled 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.’’
President Buhari hence concluded with a prayer to Almighty God to grant the soul of the departed writer – Pa Gabriel Okara, peaceful repose and comfort all who mourned him.