Atiku, Obiano Mourn Renowned Novelist, Chukwuemeka Ike

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Chukwuemeka Ike

David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Anambra State Governor,
Chief Willie Obiano yesterday mourned Nigeria’s foremost novelist and
the traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu, Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike (Eze
Ikelionwu).

Ike, who authored “The Bottled Leopard”, passed on at the Nnamdi
Azikwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, at age 89 after a brief
illness.

In a tweet yesterday, Atiku said: “I mourn one of Nigeria’s prolific
novelists & traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu in Orumba South Local
Government Area, Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike
(the Ikelionwu IX).”
Atiku, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
in the 2019 presidential election, said the monarch would ever be
“remembered for his classics: Toads for Supper & Sunset at
Dawn among others. May he rest in peace.”

In a condolence message to the Ike family and the people of
Ndikelionwu, Obiano mourned the patriarch and traditional ruler, noting
that Anambra State had lost one of her greatest assets and totems of
excellence.

“I am saddened by the death of HRM Eze Chukwuemeka Ike. He was
always a regal presence around us here, bringing his wealth of
experience to bear on the deliberations of the Traditional Rulers Council.

“We shall miss him. But we shall also find strength and consolation in his
exemplary life and the legacies he left for mankind through his literary
works and stellar contributions to the traditional institution in Anambra
State.”

The governor said: “Eze Ikelionwu was an active and esteemed member
of the Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers until his health began
to fail as a result of old age. I will always cherish his support and wise
counsel. The government and people of Anambra state will miss him.”

Born on April 23, 1931 in Ndikelionwu, Anambra State, Ike was part of
the golden set of pioneer African writers and drew motivation from the
late novelist, Chinua Achebe.

He began his writing journey from school days at Government College,
Umuahia, where he wrote fearlessly in the school magazine, The
Umuahian. His first story ever written, ‘A Dreamland’ was published in
The Umuahian and set his foot on the literary space.

He would later explore the space more when he entered the University
College, Ibadan. Quickly noting his writing acumen, Achebe adopted him
into the literary circle of the time that wrote about politics on campus
and nationally. His literary output was well praised with profundity in
mirroring African and Igbo cultures.

Such is seen in his authored works like Toads for Supper (1965), The
Naked God’s (1970), The Potter’s Wheel (1973), Sunset and
Dawn (1976), Expo ’77 (1980), The Bottled Leopard (1985), Our
Children are coming (1990).

Aside from writing, he served as an academic in different roles such as a
lecturer at the University of Ibadan, registrar at the University of Nigeria,
Nsukka (UNN) and visiting professor at the University of Jos.

He was also a former registrar of the West Africa Examination Council
(WAEC), the first Nigerian to hold the position.

Gombe Condemns Torture of Boy by Bakery Operator

Segun Awofadeji in Gombe

Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Yahaya yesterday described as dehumanising and unjustifiable the torture of a 14-year old boy inside a bread oven for allegedly stealing bread at a bakery.

Also, First Lady, Mrs. Asma’u Yahaya paid a visit to the victim of the torture at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe to get a first-hand report on his health condition.

The manager of the bakery had allegedly thrown the 14-year-old boy into the oven over allegation that the boy stole a loaf of bread. The police had arraigned the manager before a magistrate court.

Reacting to the incident, Yahaya said he received the report of the incident with sadness, saying it was unacceptable for anyone to inflict such a high degree of pain on a fellow human being for whatever reason.

Yahaya ordered relevant state agencies “to follow up the matter and ensure that the perpetrator of the dastardly act faces the full wrath of the law to serve as deterrent.”

The governor disclosed that the state would foot all the hospital bills, assuring that his administration would continue to protect the lives of all citizens of the state and ensure that their rights are upheld at all times.

He also charged the people of the state “to always report criminal activities to the police rather than take the law into their hands.”

Meanwhile, the first lady yesterday visited the 14-year-old boy at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe alongside the state Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Na’omi Awak

He sympathised with the victim and his traumatised parents, Asma’u described the heinous act as the peak of heartlessness.

As a mother, Inuwa said she was devastated by the dastardly act unleashed on a helpless child who was only striving to earn a decent living.

She urged the victim’s parents to be strong, while assuring them of the state’s commitment to ensuring that perpetrators faced the consequences of their action.

The first lady later donated an undisclosed amount of money to the teen and other patients on admission at the paediatric surgical ward.

She said: “Though the state government has undertaken to foot the medical bills of the victim, but as a mother, that would not stop me from donating a token to the parents to meet other financial needs.

“It is our hope that the punitive measure that will be taken against the perpetrators of this heinous act by the authorities will serve as a deterrent to others with similar motive to have a rethink.”

Also speaking on the incident, the commissioner said the state government would keep working closely with stakeholders at all levels to ensure that all human rights abuses were brought to an end in the state.