Nigeria?s Noble laureate Professor Wole Soyinka today described renowned novelist Cyprian Ekwensi as a great thinker and lover of the arts. Soyinka paid this tribute to Cyprian Ekwensi at the inauguration of an e- library constructed in memory of the late writer  in Minna by the Niger state Government as part of the 2nd Annual Muazu Babangida Aliyu MBA National Literary Colloquium.

Commending the Niger state Government for honouring the renowned author who was born in Minna Professor Soyinka said the action of the government will assist to entrench national unity and cohesion and promotion of literary works.

The Noble Laureate stated that the works of Cyprian Ekwensi cuts across ethnic divides and promotes national unity as he expressed appreciation for the good works of the state. ?I am always thrilled to be among the people of the book? he said.

In his address the Niger state Governor Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu stressed the importance of teachers and writers. He said unless Nigerians respect those who teach and those who write ?we will continue in the crime of corruption and ignorance?.

Dr Aliyu also spoke in favour of national integration as he remarked that citizens from different parts of the country contributed to the growth and development of Jos and Minna towns. ?Anyone trying to work against national integration is wasting his time? he insisted.

On why the government decided to honour the late Cyprian Ewensi with the inauguration of the e-library Governor Aliyu said Nigerians should learn to appreciate and celebrate its intellectuals so that upcoming generations will emulate them. He observed that if the developed world had discovered the potentials in Professor Wole Soyinka on time he would have been made to abandon Nigeria and take the citizenship of any of the advanced world. 

Governor Aliyu said the e-library will entrench the spirit of Information Communication Technology in the people which is the in thing now and advised Nigerians to go with the present trend and refuse to be intimidated by computers.

Enakeno Oju

Enakeno is a journalist and television producer

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