President Muhammadu Buhari Monday mourned the passage of the renowned poet, novelist and playwright, Gabriel Okara, aged 97.
The president commiserated with the Okara family, the government and people of Bayelsa state as well as the literary community and all who drank from the writer’s fountain of knowledge.
As a dedicated and well-published writer in all the literary genres, the president said Okara, who was deservedly known as the ‘‘founder of Modern African literature’’ would be remembered for his immense contributions to the development of African literature, drawing on experience from his native Ijaw language.
The president also 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.
He prayed Almighty God to grant the soul of the departed writer peaceful repose and comfort all who mourn.