New Telegraph

September 30, 2023

Buhari, Osofisan, Ofeimun, others mourn as JP Clark dies at 85

President Muhammadu Buhari has extended condolences to the Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo’s family on the passing of renowned writer and Emeritus Professor of Literature, John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo. The famous, awardwinning writer passed on in the early hours of yesterday October 13, 2020.

“Prof. J. P. Clark has paddled on to the great beyond in comfort of his wife, children and siblings, around him. The family appreciates your prayers at this time,” his family announced, adding that other details will be announced later by the family.

In a statement released by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, yesterday, Buhari paid tribute to Clark, who he described as “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 depict the hard work of a great man, devoted to a lifetime of writing, knowledge and promotion of the indigenous culture of the Ijaw nation.”

Stressing that Clark’s exit has, indeed, left an indelible mark in the literary world, the President noted that he 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. Notable Nigerian writers have also expressed shock at the demise of Clark.

Renowned dramatist, Femi Osofisan, in his reaction, described the Clark’s death as a huge loss. “I am so shocked I really can’t make any coherent statement now. I am in a state of shock. Yesterday, I lost a very close friend of mine, and I was mourning that one, then this news came in. I am shocked.” Award-winning writer, Prof. Akachi Ezeigbo, described Clark’s death as a very painful loss for Nigerian literature and the literary world.

“He was a great writer, and he belongs to the generation of the people who actually made Nigerian literature what it is today. He was a famous writer. So, his death is a big loss to Nigeria. But also because of his achievements, his work will live and his legacy will endure,” Ezeigbo stated.

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