On 15, October 2004, Chinua Achebe wrote an open letter to President Olusegun Obasanjo, explaining why he was turning down the National Honour offered him.

In light of the tragic goings-on in Rivers State, I have decided to post an excerpt from that letter. My conclusion is that there is no past and no future in Nigeria, only a present that, while never sitting still, never actually goes anywhere.


“I write this letter with a very heavy heart. For some time now I have watched events in Nigeria with alarm and dismay. I have watched particularly the chaos in my own state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom. I am appalled by the brazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance, of the Presidency.” CHINUA ACHEBE (2004)