The Clark-Fuludu Bekederemo family of Kiagbodo Town, Delta State, had announced Tuesday, that Emeritus Professor of Literature and Renowned Writer, Prof. John Pepper Clark, was dead.
The family issued a statement, saying:
“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 on to the great beyond in comfort of his wife, children and siblings, around him.
“The family appreciates your prayers at this time. Other details will be announced later by the family.”
The late writer, who is widely-acclaimed for his plays and poetry on traditional Ijaw myths and legends, was described by President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement 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 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.”
The statement from the presidency, issued by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the death of the literary icon would leave a huge vacuum in the literary world.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Edo State described Clark as “a great academic, celebrated poet”.
“His literary exploits brought honour and great respect to Nigeria and his contributions to literature and education, in general, will outlive many generations,” the governor said.
Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar added his tribute to the highly acclaimed writer— who in his lifetime rubbed shoulders with contemporaries, Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe— saying;
“I received with sadness, news of the passing away of Emeritus Professor of Literature and renowned poet and playwright, Prof. John Pepper Clark. Nigeria has lost a gem and great patriot. May he rest in peace.”
“We are sad to hear of the demise of foremost Nigerian poet, John Pepper-Clark Bekederemo popularly known as J.P Clark. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones,” printing press company, Cassava Republic said.