Foremost writer and actor, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who is an award-winning Nigerian author and had been recently decorated with Harvard University’s iconic W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, which had managed to break her silence over her non-appearance at Tuesday’s conferment of national honours by President Muhammadu Buhari.
While perusing through the report, one of the members of Chimamanda’s communications team, Omawumi Ogbe, told had revealed to Newsmen that the author declined the honour.
Ogbe said in a statement: “Following the recent conferment of national awards by the President, there have been conflicting reports about one of the announced recipients, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Some social media users say the award-winning writer rejected the award, while others say she accepted it.
“The author did not accept the award and, as such, did not attend the ceremony. She, however, did not want to create undue publicity around it, so her non-acceptance was conveyed privately,” Ogbe said.
While he had been conferring the award on some 450 Nigerians and foreigners, President Buhari had also justified the honours, saying the awardees had distinguished themselves in the service of the nation and humanity.
“We have among the recipients today, Amb. Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who are doing our country proud on the international scene,” Buhari said. “Our dear sisters are a source of inspiration to our young women that through the dint of hard work and dedication, they can achieve greatness.”
And as reports have it, this is not actaually the first time an honouree will turn down a national honour from a Nigerian president.
Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, the world-acclaimed Nigerian literary giant and author of Things Fall Apart, had also rejected the national honours award in 2004 and 2011, leading to an uproar at that time and he had rejected the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) award because he was dissatisfied with the handling of the country’s affairs by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
In 2011, Achebe rejected the same award from the Goodluck Jonathan administration, saying the reasons for rejecting the offer when it was first made in 2004 had not been addressed.