Nigeria’s former Minister of Information and Communications, Dora Nkem Akunyili, will be buried on August 28, 2014 according to a statement released today in Enugu, the capital of Enugu State, by her husband, Chike Akunyili, who is a medical doctor.
The statement outlines a weeklong series of events as part of the funeral for the late minister who died in a hospital in India on June 7, 2014 after a two-year battle with cancer.
Mrs. Dora, who held a PhD in pharmacy and once lectured at the University of Nigeria, came to national spotlight when she served as the director-general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Her funeral programs include a Christian wake-keep in Enugu on August 22, a night of tributes at the International Conference Center in Abuja on August 25, and a Mass at the Pro-Cathedral Catholic Church, Abuja, on August 26.
Following the church service in Abuja, Mrs. Akunyili’s remains would be flown to Enugu where a Mass is scheduled at KSJ Temple at 4:00 p.m. “After a High Requiem Mass at Holy Ghost Cathedral Enugu at 9:00 a.m. the next day (Wednesday, August 27), Dora’s body would be taken to UNCOMA Hall, College of Medicine, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu, for Final College Assembly to start from 11:30 a.m. From there, the body would be taken to Awka for Anambra State Government activities, then to Dora’s father’s house in Nanka, before being returned to her husband’s house at Agulu for a vigil Mass/wake-keep,” her family’s statement disclosed.
The former minister’s remains would lie in state at her husband’s country home “before leaving for Agulu Town Hall, then Madonna Catholic Church Agulu for a Requiem Mass to hold by 10:00 a.m. Interment at John Chike Akunyili’s compound follows at 1:30 p.m.”
In his statement, Mr. Akunyili thanked Nigerians for their expressions of love and support for his family since their bereavement. “This has gone a great way in helping us to cope with the monumental loss of our precious gem, my beloved wife, Dora,” said the former minister’s husband.
Mrs. Akunyili, who was taking part in the on-going national conference in Abuja as a delegate from Anambra State, was shy of 60 at the time of her death.