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Dora Akunyili’s daughter pen emotional tributes to late father

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

An author, Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr, has paid tribute to her late father, Dr. Chike Akunyili, the husband of former minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, describing him as a man that engages in any activity for humanity sake.

Akunyili-Parr, who recently welcomed her first baby, added that her father, the Chief Medical Director of St. Leo Hospital in Enugu State, was so passionate about the country particularly it’s health sector where he had operated to ensure that the life expectancy rate increases across the country.

She penned the tribute on Thursday, barely 48 hours after gunmen killed her father while returning home from Onitsha where he had gone to receive a posthumous award on behalf of his late wife, Dora, from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka alumni.

The deceased medical expert was said to have been killed alongside his driver and the policeman attached to him by gunmen that accosted their vehicle on the way home in the state.

In a tribute released through her official social media handle, she noted that the gunmen did not allow the deceased medical expert share an intimate relationship with his grandchildren.

She, meanwhile, appeal that the law enforcement agencies should ensure that the perpetrators were apprehended and made to face the law for their actions.

She wrote: Ubuntu – ‘I am because we are’. If this holds true, then the man who pulled the trigger twice is because we are — his anger, the injustice of his action, and his violence are because it is mirrored in the world around him. If ‘I am because we are’, then my father’s pain gasping for breath in his last moments is because we as a nation are in pain.

“I spoke to him on Monday, just a day before another human willfully took his life. We couldn’t have known it would be the last. We spoke about my mother, about the award being bestowed upon her the next day, and how it was a birthday present from her to me.

“He asked after his newest grandchild whom he had given the name Mmesomma — ‘the one who does only beautiful things’. And above all, he bemoaned the state of things in the country. As a surgeon, always frontline with the people’s suffering, he shared just how visible the current hardships were. Patients, he said, were no longer able to pay for care. It didn’t help, he added, that no one was safe. I asked him if he was being safe and he assured me that he was, going on to share that he never went out anymore And was sure to be home by 6. Convinced, I reminded him to be even more careful and to take care of himself.

“If Ubuntu holds true, that he is — a son, a beloved father, a loving grandfather, a healer, a papal Knight, Agbalanze of Agulu, a friend, a brother, and so much more — then this is an invitation for us to find the good in us. We can choose a different path… this current one leads to more senseless death and pain for one too many”.

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