Renowned novelist Chimamanda Adichie has said she did not show up to receive a national award from President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday because she did not accept it.
While conferring the award on 450 Nigerians and foreigners, President Buhari had justified the honours, saying the awardees had distinguished themselves in the service of the nation and humanity. Buhari said:
“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,”
“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.”
Speaking on her non-appearance at the ceremony, a member of Chimamanda’s communications team, Omawumi Ogbe, said in a statement on Thursday that the writer declined the honour. The statement said:
“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.”
Chimamanda Adichie was recently decorated with Harvard University’s iconic W.E.B. Du Bois Medal.