Encomiums as Akunyili’s remains is interred in country home
Former Minister of Information and Communication, Dora Akunyili, who died on June 7, was yesterday committed to mother earth around2:40pm in her country home at Nkitaku village, Agulu, Anaocha Local Government area of Anambra State.
The remains of the one-time Director General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and a Professor of Pharmacy was interred shortly after a requiem mass at the Madonna Catholic Church, Agulu.
The burial held amidst eulogies from eminent Nigerians who gathered from various parts of the country to pay their last respect to the icon.
Eminent personalities who attended the burial included former Head of State, retired General Yakubu Gowon, Second Republic Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, wife of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Bola, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and the host Governor, Willie Obiano.
Also present were Information Minister, Labaran Maku, Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, Sam Egwu, Arthur Eze, Senators Andy Uba, Chris Ngige, Ayogu Eze and Annie Okonkwo, former Central Bank Governor, Charles Soludo, other members of the National and states Assemblies, traditional rulers, members of the business community and a host of other dignitaries.
Former Prefect, Congregation for Devine Worship and Discipline at the Vatican, Cardinal Francis Arinze, was the Chief celebrant during the funeral mass, which was also graced by the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, 20 Catholic Bishops and over 500 Catholic priests and clerics of other denominations.
Earlier, while delivering a homily, Revd Fr. Damian Akpunonu preached that every being, no matter how mighty or low must be judged by their actions while on earth and described the deceased as a devout Christian who showcased true Christian virtues in both her private and public life.
The cleric continued that as a wife and mother, she took care of her family members, including her husband and children and during her public service, especially when she was the DG of NAFDAC, she even put her life in danger while fighting against fake and substandard drugs.
Akpunonu called on Nigerians, especially public office holders, to borrow a leaf from Akunyili’s uncompromising principles of truth, honesty, hard work and service to humanity, pointing out that her legacies while in NAFDAC were enough to earn her a place in the kingdom of God.
Onaiyekan, in his remarks, described the deceased as a shining star whose services to the nation would stand the test of time, stating categorically that she was a true Nigerian who believed in the country’s unity and progress.
Addressing journalists immediately after the mass, Maku described late Akunyili as a shining star who served her country very well and uplifted the image of not only Igbo women but all women in Africa. He went on to urge all Nigerians to emulate Akunyili’s patriotism and hard work.
The deceased was eventually interred in a white-coloured marble grave inside the Akunyili large and exquisite country home at Nkitaku village- Agulu.
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