Soyinka was honoured in Nsukka, during the 2nd Memorial Chinua Achebe International Conference, organised by the Institute.
“I am happy on the turnout of people and the award, it has re-ignited my sense of belonging in UNN.
“I consider myself part and parcel of this university, I will always identify with UNN wherever I find myself,” he said.
The noble laureate commended the natural green environment of UNN, as it was not achieved by bulldozer but nature.
“In many places, it is bulldozer that dictates the architecture of the environment, but here it is natural.
“I congratulate the university management, especially the vice-chancellor and urged them to continue to maintain this natural environment,” he said.
Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN, who spoke, commended the Institute for attracting a world literary giant whose contributions to literature remained unquantifiable.
“The university is happy that a Nobel Laureate who is a world literary icon is in UNN today live.
“UNN will continue to honour late Prof. Chinua Achebe through the annual memorial lecture as his literary achievements made UNN a household name in every part of the world,’’ he said.
The Director of the Institute, Prof. Emeka Nwabueze, said many people did not take him seriously when he said he would bring Soyinka to UNN.
“I was convinced that Soyinka will grace the occasion since he and late Achebe are all giants in the literary world.
“UNN and the Institute will remain grateful to Soyinka for honouring our invitation,” he said.
Mr Pat Asadu, who was also honoured, said the award would spur him to do more for the betterment of the society.
Asadu, who represents Nsukka /Igboeze-South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, said he was not aware that the university was noticing his contributions to his constituency and humanity.