The immortal soul of Iroko has only stepped outside of its mortal body, but I see mortal men taking to the streets and wailing that the Iroko has fallen apart, how myopic they are. How can Iroko, the tree of the gods, fall apart?
Achebe!, I may not be able to tell how far the journey from here to the home of our ancestors is, but I shall assume that you have finally arrrived at the place where they reside. I am happy that you are gone far away from this endangered world, yet feel very sad that your countrymen never listened to the voice of reason. You had seen so much. You knew so much. You said so much. You did so much. And, in fact, you could have done much more if only... But your people did not understand, neither were they ready to know. Even the same men with whom you fought in those youthful years for the independence of this country choose to dwell on ignoble thoughts, I mean those yesterday's and today's men who today are giving accolades and calling for the immortalization of your name.
Please Achebe, do not give your eyes to tears, for I can tell that your heart is still broken by the betrayal of these men who till today are still betraying the land they once swore to protect. How I wish you had the chance to become our president, maybe things would not have fallen apart. What then shall we do now, if not to ask that you plead with the ancestors on our behalf to join their voices with ours as we pray for the Arrow of GOD to hit hard on those who would not allow this country reach her full potential so that it would not be said of us in near future that There Was A Country once called Nigeria.Amen!
Send my greetings to Esther, my dear mother, that although Nigeria has not changed much but my hope for a better future has not dwindled. Goodbye Chinua Achebe.
Ebenezer Akinrinade (CYFI Fellow)