Posted by News Express | 26 August 2014 | 4,350 times
President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to lead a galaxy of dignitaries to Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral Catholic Church, Garki, Abuja, for a Requiem Mass to be held in honour of late former Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. (Mrs.) Dora Nkem Akunyili.
The Requiem Mass is to be officiated by the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan.
The church service comes barely hours after a spectacular Night of Tributes in honour of Dora held at the International Conference Centre, coordinated by ex-Minister, Iyom Josephine Anenih, and chaired by Cardinal Onaiyekan.
The event, which lasted from 5:00 p.m. to 9:40 p.m., witnessed moving tributes from a motley crowd of important dignitaries from Nigeria and abroad, including former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd). It was also graced by the Chief Mourner, Dora’s husband, Dr. Chike Akunyili, and the six children he had with Dora.
One of the highlights of the night was an hour-long documentary which captures Dora’s life and times, including her exploits as Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) from 2001 to 2008 and Minister of Information and Communications from 2008 to 2010.
There were also musical performances, including by elegant stallion Onyeka Onwenu and one of Dora’s children, Somto, a musician, who thrilled the audience with a soulful rendition of her late mother’s favourite song.
After this morning’s church service, Dora’s body would leave for Enugu, where there would be a Mass at KSJ Temple at 4:00 p.m. After a High Requiem Mass at Holy Ghost Cathedral Enugu at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, Dora’s body would be taken to UNCOMA Hall, College of Medicine, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu, for Final College Assembly to start from 11:30 a.m. From there, the body would be taken to Awka for Anambra State Government activities, then to Dora’s father’s house in Nanka, before being returned to her husband’s house at Agulu for a Vigil Mass/Wake-Keep.
On Thursday, August 28, Dora’s body would lie in state at John Chike Akunyili’s Compound before leaving for Agulu Town Hall, then Madonna Catholic Church Agulu for a Requiem Mass to hold by 10:00 a.m. Interment at John Chike Akunyili’s Compound follows at 1:30 p.m.
A renowned Pharmacist, Pharmacologist and Administrator, Prof. (Mrs.) Akunyili was a delegate to the National Conference as at the time of her death on Saturday, June 7, 2014, after a two-year battle with cancer. The woman of substance, who would have turned 60 on July 14, is survived by her husband, Dr. Chike Akunyili, six children, three grandchildren, siblings and several relatives.
•Photo shows late Prof. Dora Akunyili.
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