Home News Tributes as Akunyili is buried in Anambra

Tributes as Akunyili is buried in Anambra


Prominent Nigerians eulogised the late Information and Communication Minister, Prof Dora Akunyili, yesterday as she was committed to mother earth.
The funeral at Madonna’s Catholic Church in Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, was a momentous occasion befitting of a national heroine she was.
Only the late Biafra warlord, Dim Chukwumeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and literary icon, the late Prof Chinua Achebe, got similar honours.
The church was filled to the brim with scores of more people outside.
It had not witnessed any such event in the last six years, according to one of priests.
The late Akunyili was said to have donated N40 million to the church for its renovation.
At the funeral were two Catholic Cardinals – Francis Cardinal Arinze, from Rome and John Cardinal Onaiyekan from Abuja. Three Archbishops – Martins from Lagos; Anthony Obinna, from Imo and Valerian Okeke, from Anambra states, attended the funeral.
Also, 25 Catholic bishops from various parts of the country and over 150 priests were there.
Despite the meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja on the same day, scores of the party’s chieftains were on hand to honour the former Director-General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The roll call included former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; his wife, Victoria; former Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, his wife, Beatrice and wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Bola.
Also, Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Isah Yuguda (Bauchi); House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha; wife of Ebonyi State governor, Mrs Josephine Elechi and her Abia counterpart, Mrs Odochi Orji, attended the ceremony.
Former Anambra State governors – Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Mr Peter Obi, Senator Chris Ngige and Mrs Virgy Etiaba, attended the funeral.[eap_ad_2] 
Information Minister, Labaran Maku and Senator Joy Emodi were also among the dignitaries.
In his homily, Rev. Father Damian Akpunonu said Akunyili’s death was a tragedy to her family and the country.
He said: “We have come here today not to bury Dora. To bury her is to concede victory to death, which Jesus Christ conquered through his death.
“She still lives because of the legacy she left behind. We are here to keep her memories and legacies alive.
“Everybody should live a life of remembrance like Dora did. What the family and those she left behind in the country require are prayers.
“Dora believed she could make a difference in the society, and she did. She built a legacy that will be difficult for anybody else to rival in this country.”
After the service, the body, which was placed in a golden coffee casket, was moved to her resting place at the Akunyili compound at exactly 2.15pm.
Security men, including the police, Army and paramilitary outfits, were on hand to control the crowd.
The popular Agulu-Ekwulobia Road was partially blocked to restrict the movements of motorists.
The major mourners, the Edemobi and Akunyili families, wore uniform. Other groups, such as Umuada Anambra from Abuja, were also gaily dressed.
Cardinals Onaiyekan and Arinze offered prayers for the Akunyili family.
The eldest son of the deceased, Dr. Edozie Akunyili, on behalf of the family, thanked everybody for honouring his mother.
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano said the people responded to Akunyili’s burial because she was good to all.
The governor said the late minister left a worthy legacy for generations.
He said: “We can make her slogan of good people, great nation, happen in the country without her.” (The Nation)[eap_ad_3]

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