Posted by News Express | 24 June 2014 | 3,995 times
The Maitama Abuja residence of late National Conference delegate, Prof. Dora Akunyili, came alive this night as her colleagues honoured her with a Special Mass conducted by Bishop Joseph D. Bagobiri, assisted by Monsignor Obiora Ike – both delegates to the on-going confab in the nation’s capital.
The Mass, which lasted an hour and 20 minutes (7:15-8:35pm) was graced by several other conference delegates, among them General Ike Nwachukwu (rtd); one-time Anambra State Governor, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former Minister of Health, Prof. ABC Nwosu and former Ohanaeze President General, Dr. Dozie Ikedife.
Also in attendance were many other dignitaries, among them the Secretary of the National Conference, Dr. (Mrs.) Valerie Azinge, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, immediate past Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, former ministers Frank Nweke Jr. and Kema Chikwe, as well as Rev. Sister Helen Onyiuke, who taught Dora in secondary school in Nsukka in the early and mid-’70s.
Speaker after speaker paid tribute to late Prof. Akunyili for being incorruptible and for her outstanding patriotism and commitment towards the welfare of Nigerians. This, they said, was amply demonstrated during her days as Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and later as Minister of Information and Communications. All expressed the belief that the late Amazon has written her name on the sands of time.
In his vote of thanks, Dora’s husband, Dr. Chike Akunyili, disclosed that his late wife was a very prayerful person who was fond of the Catholic Mass. “She used to kneel for two to three hours, praying,” he recalled. “I would tell her, ‘Mummy, this is too much’, but after the attempt on her life during her days as NAFDAC DG, I would kneel with her for as long as she knelt in prayer.”
Dr. Akunyili reminded Nigerians of how fond Dora was of Nigeria and her wish for it to be a united and progressive nation, as captured in her last public speech delivered at the National Conference on March 24.
“Dora left a good example, especially for the youths; it is that ezi afa ka ego (a good name is better than money). We should emulate her,” Dr. Akunyili said.
Prof. Akunyili, who died of cancer on June 7 – about a month to her 60th birthday on July 14 – will be buried on August 28 in Agulu, Anambra State. She is survived by her husband, six children, siblings and a host of other relatives.
•Photo shows late Prof. Dora Akunyili.
No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.