Buhari, Obaseki mourn as literary giant JP Clark, dies at 85

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Renowned poet and Emeritus Professor of Literature , John Pepper Clark , is dead .

He died on Tuesday at age 85 .
The professor ’s death was announced in a statement by Prof . C . C . Clark and Ilaye Clark .

It read , “The Clark – Fuludu Bekederemo family of Kiagbodo town, Delta State , wishes to announce that Emeritus Professor of Literature and renowned writer , Prof . John Pepper Clark , has finally dropped his pen in the early hours of today , Tuesday , 13 October, 2020.

“Prof . J . P . Clark has paddled onto the great beyond in comfort of his wife , children and sibling , around him.

“The family appreciates your prayers at this time . Other details will be announced later by the family. ”

John pepper Clark Bekederemo, born on April 6 , 1935, was one of Nigeria ’s foremost anglophone dramatists and poets .

Meanwhile , the President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd .) , on Tuesday paid glowing tribute to a Clark , saying he left an indelible mark in the literary world .

Buhari ’s tribute to the deceased was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity , Femi Adesina , titled “President Buhari pays tribute to JP Clark .”

The statement reads partly , “ President Buhari pays tribute to one of Nigeria ’s finest poets , dramatist and recipient of the Nigerian National Order of Merit Award for literary excellence , whose repertoire of published works depicts the hard work of a great man , devoted to a lifetime of writing , knowledge and promotion of the indigenous culture of the Ijaw nation .

“Acknowledging that Prof . J .P . Clark ’s exit has , indeed , left an indelible mark in the literary world , President Buhari takes solace that his body of literary works , which earned him recognition and respect both at home and abroad , would continue to inspire upcoming Nigerian writers to pursue literary excellence and flourish in their chosen vocation .”

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The Edo State Governor , Godwin Obaseki, also commiserated with the Clark ’s family.

Obaseki described the deceased as a great academic and a celebrated poet , whose literary exploits brought honour and great respect to Nigeria .

He said , “His writings mirrored society all through our development as a nation and he raised his pen when it mattered the most to condemn societal ills that threatened our collective existence and advancement as a nation as well as a continent .”

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