Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja mourned renowned poet, novelist and playwright, Gabriel Imomotime Okara, who passed on at the age of 97.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, said Buhari, on behalf of the Federal Executive Council, extended his heartfelt commiserations to the Okara family, the government and people of Bayelsa State, the literary community and all who benefited from the late literary writer’s fountain of knowledge.
The statement which described Okara as a dedicated and well-published writer in all the literary genres, added that Buhari believed that Okara, whom he described 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 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.
“President Buhari prays Almighty God to grant the soul of the departed writer peaceful repose and comfort all who mourn,” the statement added.