President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the passage of the renowned poet, novelist and playwright, Gabriel Okara, aged 97.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Monday, the president extended his condolences to the Okara family.
President Buhari also condoled with the government and people of Bayelsa, the literary community and all who drank from the writer’s fountain of knowledge.
The President believed that Okara, who was deservedly known 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 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.’’
President Buhari prayed Almighty God to grant the soul of the departed writer peaceful repose and comfort all who mourned him.