The Association of Nigerian Authors (NAN) has congratulated its grand patron and former Chairman, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Prof Anezionwu Okoro on his 91st birthday.
In a congratulatory message entitled “91 Gun Salute to our Father, Prof Anezi Okoro” in Enugu on Sunday, the Enugu State Chairman of ANA, Comrade Zulu Ofoelue described Okoro as a great motivator,counselor, icon and leader.
“Prof Anezi Okoro is a renowned professor of medicine specialized in dermatology who became one of Nigeria’s most prolific writers who created stories that have inspired many writers and imparted deeply in Nigerian youths.
“Some of his literary works include The Village School, New Broom at Amanzu, One Week, One Trouble; Double Trouble, Second Great Flood and Akuko Ufodu Shakespeare koro (Lamb Tales from Shakespeare)”, Ofoelue said.
In her message, the President, Coal City Literary Foundation, Dr Adaobi Nwoye said that the literary icon had been a pillar of support and encouragement to the foundation and always willing to proffer literary advice to writers.
The state Chairman of Albino Foundation, Mr Emeka Ugwu thanked God for his long life and good health and his very rich contributions to the improvements of the lives of persons living with albinism.
He said that the writer played a major role to development of literary works in the country.
Mr Victor Atuonwu, former Chief of Staff to ex Gov Sullivan Chime and Prof’s personal aide as UBEC Chairman, described Okoro as a ‘selfless man who contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria’.
According to him, Prof Okoro has done a lot for this country but has remained unrecognized even for National honours. It’s not fair.
“Prof contributed to the choosing of Abuja as the federal capital, yet no single street is named after him in Abuja”, he said.
A close family friend, Dr Christa Udeogu said:” I love prof’s attitude to life, unassuming, humble and altruistic,”.
Prof Anezi Okoro was the first black African dermatologist and the oldest living literary icon.
He attended Methodist College, Uzuakoli, Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS) and was the pioneer medical student of the University of Ibadan.
The literary giant has published over 200 novels and poems.
He is a member of numerous learned societies and professional organizations including the Nigeria Medical Association, West African College of Physicians, African Association of Dermatologists and British Association of Dermatologists.
His son, Chukwuma, described his father in the words of Samuelson Iwuoha, “Prof Anezionwu Okoro is an institution, human conglomerate, an academic and intellectual giant who is undoubtedly a miracle of ingenuity”.