A former Governor of Bayelsa , Chief Timipre Sylva, on Tuesday described the demise of the literary giant Gabriel Okara as a moment of deep and contrasting emotions.
This is contained in a statement issued by Julius Bokoru, the Media Assistant to Sylva in Yenagoa.
Sylva said that the Okara family believed the octogenarian poet lived a worthy and fulfilled life and his demise should not be overtaken by mourning, but by celebration of a life well and completely lived
Sylva said that as a keen fan, admirer and friend of Gabriel Okara, he studied the poems of the Nigerian Negritudist (As termed by literary scholars) in his undergraduate years and beyond.
“Particular, is the poem Call Of The River Nun which is one of the most aesthetic and philosophical portrayal of the complex, but natural relation of life and death.
“Piano On Drums, on the other hand, like it must have been for millions around the world, was an artistic guide in navigating the maze of culture shock at various points of earlier years.
“A colossus has passed, but not without leaving prints on the sands of time and setting standards for literary and intellectual excellence.
“Okara’s passing is not one to mourn, it is for celebration and for pride and for the marking of a platinum point in cultural mileage.
“Our regards must go to the Okara family for presenting Bayelsa, Nigeria and the world with such a titan who added value to all our lives,” Sylva said.
The Bayelsa government, had on Monday, announced the passage of Okara who was aged 98 and declared three days of mourning for the literary icon.
The state government directed that flags in the state would fly at half mast for the three days. (NAN)