by Kolapo Olapoju
On Tuesday, 26 August, a Requiem Mass was held at Queen of Apostles Pro-Cathedral, Garki, Abuja, in honour of the former minister of Information and NAFDAC Director-General, Dora Akunyili.
Tributes poured aplenty from attending dignitaries and family members, while her husband, Chike Akunyili, Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah and President Goodluck Jonathan were a couple of people who had the most to say about the late Akunyili.
Here are the top 10 Tributes said on the night..
“She left a legacy for her family and children will be proud of. We will go to heaven not because of the extra ordinary things we do in life but the simple things we do extraordinarily. She did ordinary things in extra ordinary manner.”
“Even as a professor, if you see her in the home, she would hold water for me to wash my hand. And I would tell her, Mummy, you are a professor and she would say, “I married Nkem before I became a professor.”
“In politics, public life, family, she demonstrated indeed that power was not everything and that power comes from God. But to some of us when we pray that the will of God be done we are simply saying your will correspond to ours on earth. That is why we have a lot of violence in politics.”
“The Bible says happy is husband of a good wife, it illustrates the qualities of women. The reason why Nigerians mourn Dora, is not because of the contracts she gave but she had the ability to see the future. Your encounter with her was not ordinary.”
“Dorothy is an elephant and if I start talking about her we will not leave. We went to Florida, and there at the immigration, they told her, ‘look, you are an American citizen (because she won the lottery and that was what favoured us). And here you are, you have a Nigerian diplomatic passport, you must surrender one. She used her left hand to drop her green card and retained her diplomatic passport. So you can see the level of her love for this country.”
“She demonstrated to us that public life can be an opportunity to be noble. When we surrender our lives to God, He has a way of turning it around to something we never can imagine.”
“To the children, your mother was a very dynamic woman because her works and identity have given you what silver and gold cannot give you.”
“We pray that those of us serving now, whether President, Vice President, or others, when we die, people will respect our children because of our deeds like Dora. So you have to thank God for that.”
“Dora was a role model, her dressing represented the Nigerian woman, her love, character, she is a lady that will hardly leave our memory. She was one of the few Nigerians that has made the whole country proud.”
“Dora had a message for this country; it was a message of love, courage and steadfastness. Even when she was in pain, she still attended the national conference. You all heard what she said at the conference that ‘a country grows great when old men plant trees, whose shade they will not live to enjoy.”