Brymo on Adichie: Rejecting national award but taking chieftaincy hurts Igbo presidency

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Brymo says it hurts the quest for Igbo presidency if Chimamanda Adichie rejects a national award.

The singer spoke on Twitter after Adichie’s reception of a chieftaincy title in Abba, her Anambra hometown.

In October 2022, Adichie rejected a national award offered to her by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Adichie was to receive the order of federal republic (OFR) award at a ceremony that took place on October 11.

However, the author neither attended the event nor accepted the award, conveying her non-acceptance privately.

After Adichie’s chieftaincy title became public knowledge, Brymo said her rejection of the national award months ago, yet accepting a village chieftaincy, comes across as a jab at the Igbo presidency and the campaign of Peter Obi.

“Five years ago, I advocated for an Igbo president to heal the country and form a cohesion,” the singer said.

“Chimamanda refusing national honours, yet accepting chieftaincy title in her village, is a jab to Peter Obi’s race. She’s an eastern mother. She’s that important. This conversation is not about elections.

“It’s about our collective healing. It would have been nice if Chimamanda took the award, then stated her reasons.

“[Like] ‘They gave me this award. I shouldn’t have taken it because Biafra is not healed but I did for the youth.’ She shouldn’t have rejected it just like that. It doesn’t affect the rest of us as it affects the Igbo presidency and Peter Obi.

“Seeking the office, yet rejecting things from it is blackmail. I will be happy if we can just forgive yourselves.”

Adichie, who had in the not-so-distant past aired her disapproval of the current government’s response to matters of public importance, was not the first of her kind in Nigeria’s literary community to reject a national award.

Chinua Achebe, who died in 2013, had rejected national awards on two different occasions in 2004 and 2011.

He had aired his dissatisfaction with the handling of the country’s affairs by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Laureate, similarly rejected the centenary award from the federal government in 2014.

In 2016, Adichie stated that Buhari wasted the chance to make “real reforms” in the early days of his government.

In 2020, she further stirred mixed reactions after she said she didn’t consider herself an ambassador of Nigeria.

 

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