By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep grief at to the passing of one of Nigeria’s renowned poets and winner of the 2017 NLNG-sponsored Nigerian Prize for Literature, Ikeogu Oke.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari on behalf of the Federal Government, President Buhari extended heartfelt condolences to Oke’s family, the literary and creative community on the painful demise of the award-winning poet.
The President affirmed that as an author, journalist and poet, Oke exuded vibrancy, intelligence and innovation in his works as a social commentator, constantly in search of plausible answers and solutions to contemporary issues bedeviling his society.
Through his poetry, the President believed that Oke enriched Nigeria’s literary genre and his legacy will live on in his works, which he was incredibly proud of and committed to, as he wrote in his epic Epitaph:
‘‘Here lies a man who loved virtue and art, And gave to both his fortunes and his heart…’’
The President encouraged all Nigerians, the literary community and lovers of art to honour Ikeogu Oke’s memory by imbibing the didactic message of his works.
He prayed God to console all who mourn the departed poet and grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.