Mr. Achebe was a former Deputy National Vice President of the PRP.
Apart from being a writer, the late literary giant, Chinua Achebe, was also a politician who believed in the ideology of the Peoples Redemption Party.
The PRP, founded by late Aminu Kano, was a party focused on alleviating the sufferings of the poor and downtrodden. The party was very popular among the poor people, particularly in Northern Nigeria. The party won two governorship elections in 1979: Abubakar Rimi of Kano and Balarabe Musa of Kaduna.
Late Achebe was not only a prominent member of the party, in 1983, he became the party’s Deputy National Vice-President.
Mr. Musa, in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES, said Mr. Achebe died a member of the party.
The former Kaduna governor who is the current leader of the PRP, now de-registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, said he is not aware Mr. Achebe left the party for any other.
“I am not aware the Professor joined any other political party since stepping aside from the PRP after the crisis. He definitely remained a PRP member up till his death,” Mr. Musa stated.
The crisis he mentioned occurred immediately after the 1983 elections.
Just before the elections, considered one of the worst in Nigeria’s history, Mr. Achebe published a book titled “The Trouble with Nigeria”
In the first page of the book, Mr. Achebe criticised the style of leadership in Nigeria
“The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility and to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership,” he wrote.
The elections that followed were marked by violence and widespread irregularities.
After the elections, the PRP became engulfed in a major crisis in its areas of strength including Kano. During one of its meetings, Mr. Achebe got engaged in a heated argument – which almost became a fist fight – with Sabo Barkin Zuwo, the newly elected governor of Kano State under the PRP, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
Mr. Musa said although the late Achebe was closer to the late Aminu Kano, “he was one of the prominent members from the East who promoted and gave the party prominence there”.
He also said Mr. Achebe was “always articulate in meetings being an intellectual and inspiring and helped the PRP very much”.
“I remember during the crisis, though by virtue of his position he was closer to Mallam, he tried to make us feel free to discuss party problems with him,” Mr. Musa said.
Nigerians and the literary world have continued to mourn Mr. Achebe, whose first novel, Things Fall Apart, is considered the most widely read book in modern African Literature. The book sold over 12 million copies and has been translated to over 50 languages worldwide.