By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his grief over the passing of one of Nigeria’s renowned poet and winner of the 2017 NLNG-sponsored Nigerian Prize for Literature, Ikeogu Oke.
President Buhari, in a message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, extends heartfelt condolences to the Oke family and the literary and creative community on the painful demise of the award-winning poet.
The president affirmed that as an author, journalist and poet, Oke exuded vibrancy, intelligence and innovation in his works as a social commentator, constantly in search of plausible answers and solutions to contemporary issues bedevilling his society.
Through his poetry, the president believes that Oke enriched Nigeria’s literary genre and his legacy will live on in his works, which he was incredibly proud of and committed to, as he wrote in his epic Epitaph: ‘‘Here lies a man who loved virtue and art, And gave to both his fortunes and his heart…’’
The president encourages all Nigerians, the literary community and lovers of art to honour Oke’s memory by imbibing the didactic message of his works.
He prays God to console all who mourn the departed poet and grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.