The Owelle of Onitsha and first son of Nigeria’s First President, Chief Chukwuma Azikiwe, has called for a memorial to be established in honour of Dr. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh, the heroine of the Ebola Virus Disease saga in Nigeria.
Azikiwe, who said Adadevoh was also a granddaughter of the Azikiwes, said the doctor should be honoured because of the uncommon courage and risk she took to save Nigerians from the disease brought in by the Liberian, Patrick Sawyer.
He added that the authorities should immediately commence the projection of the positive aspects of the character of Adadevoh for younger generations to imbibe.
“Second, she should be given the highest national honours possible for risking her life to save many. She paid the ultimate terrible price,” he said.
Azikiwe said Adadevoh, who happened to be the great grand daughter of the father of Nigerian nationalism, Herbert Macaulay, said she was also a grand niece of his father, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who was Macaulay’s great associate in the nationalism struggle.
The Owelle, who said he was in touch with the late doctor’s family, said, “Her mother, Mrs. Deborah Adadevoh, nee MacIntosh, is my cousin. Deborah’s grandmother, Okwuegbunam, nee Azikiwe, is the immediate senior sister, same father same mother, of Obed Azikiwe, Zik’s father.”
On how well he related with the late doctor, he said, “Ameyo was both my relation and pal. She was a very kind, caring, and selfless person.
“She also had discipline. I am not surprised that her selfless compassion and steely discipline will make her restrain Sawyer from leaving the hospital to probably spread the Ebola virus to epidemic proportions. This she did at risk to her life.
“In spite of her upper class background, Ameyo was very down to earth and full of compassionate empathy for the disadvantaged and poor.
“Even when she was a medical student at LUTH she used to tell me and my friends about the plight of some of her brilliant but very poor schoolmates. She was one of my favourites among the younger generation of our cousins.”
On Adadevoh’s ancestry with Herbert Macaulay, Azikiwe said, “Ameyo’s father, late Professor Kwaku Adedavoh, was the grandson of Herbert Macaulay.
“Kwaku’s mother was Herbert Macaulay’s daughter. That made Ameyo Herbert Macaulay’s great granddaughter.
“Prof. Adedavoh was a medical doctor who taught at University College Hospital, Ibadan, Lagos University, Vice Chancellor, and Director-General Nigerian Institute for Medical Research, Yaba.
“Her mother, Mrs. Deborah Adadevoh, nee MacIntosh, is my cousin. Deborah’s grandmother, Okwuegbunam, nee Azikiwe, is the immediate senior sister, same father same mother, of Obed Azikiwe, Zik’s father.”
He said he has been in touch with Ameyo’s mother, Deborah, “who is somewhat managing under this tragic circumstances. I spoke to Mrs. Kate Aniadi, nee MacIntosh, Deborah’s half sister and Ameyo’s aunt who had not stopped wailing and screaming up to the time I switched off the phone. I am in regular contact with Dr. Andrew MacIntosh, Deborah’s brother and Ameyo’s uncle. (Punch)