Delegates to the National Conference on Monday paid tributes to the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and one of their colleagues, who was also a former Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili.
Bayero died at age 83 last Friday while Akunyili lost the battle against cancer in an Indian hospital on Saturday at age 59.
The two were eulogised by delegates at the Abuja venue of the National Conference on Thursday.
A legal practitioner and a member of the Committee on Law, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Reforms in the National Conference, Mr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), while paying tribute to Akunyili, said she won over 400 laurels in the course of serving humanity both in Nigeria and abroad.
Ozekhome added that the former Director-General of the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control hated injustice and oppression of the less privileged.
He said, “In spite of her illness, pains, agony, pangs and near blood, she literally defied nature and looked death in the face. She possessed passion and patriotism, she wore the face of the African woman and would better be remembered for her famous words that ‘a cabal held the late President Umaru Yar’Adua to ransom and refused to let us know the true state of his health.’
“Even when the Conference Chairman told her she could sit to contribute to discuss the President’s inaugural speech at plenary, she opted to stand, using her last breadth, her last strength, her last soul, to fight for Nigeria.”
In his motion, a former Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Bashir Al-Basu (retd.), described the late Emir as a detribalised Nigerian and lover of peace who in his private and public life preached peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
Also, the President of Market Women, Mrs. Felicia Sani, said Akunyili would remain an unforgettable woman to Nigerians because she lived her live to save many of them.
She suggested that Akunyili should be immortalised to serve as a model for young Nigerian women.
In his contribution, the Director-General, Voice of Nigeria, Mallam Abubakar Jijiwa, also emphasised the need to immortalise Akunyili, saying her passion for Nigeria as a corporate entity and uncompromising but motherly attribute, should not go unnoticed
Also, Prof. Nnenna Otti, from Ebonyi State and a lecturer in the Department of Soil Science at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, described Akunyili as “a great woman, a patriot, an epitome of complete woman, a trailblazer, a thorough bred, courageous and a loving mother.”
Also contributing, National Chairman of Labour Party, Dan Nwanyanwu, said the former NAFDAC DG was a “patriot with a heart to fight fake drugs even when those involved were from her own part of the country.
“She was higher and above a section of the country. Her role in the Yar’Adua saga should not be forgotten in our democracy. She was straight, honest and a hater of injustice who worked hard and died for Nigeria.” ((PUNCH)