The National Conference yesterday paid glowing tributes to the late Emir of Kano State, HRH Ado Bayero, and Professor Dora Akunyili, who was a delegate representing Anambra state at the ongoing conference.
After the formal announcement of the death of Late Ado Bayero, at yesterday’s resumed plenary by the Deputy Chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi, a delegate, Bashiru Albasu urged the conference to send a condolence message to the family of Ado Bayero and the people of Kano State on the death of the late Emir.
Albasu described the late emir as the longest serving Emir of Kano who made the highest and largest contribution to the development of the state.
“He (HRH Ado Bayero) was a true Nigerian who made great contributions to ensure peaceful atmosphere for business and development in Kano. He ensured peaceful co-existence in Kano where all tribes co-existed especially in the sabon gari area of Kano” said Albasu.
On the issue of protests upon the appointment of the new Emir, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Albasu pointed out that the same happened during Bayeros’s appointment in 1963.
The conference later observed a minutes’ silence in honour of both late Mrs. Akunyili and Mr. Bayero.
The tributes came from the delegates many of whom were dressed in black as a sign of their mourning of the deaths.
In his tribute to Mrs. Akunyili, Mr. Akinyemi described her as “a fighter and a patriotic Nigerian who fought to the very end.
“We all will surely miss her. Given the frailty of her health, she still attended our sessions, it shows somebody who is fighting a cause,’’ Akinyemi said.
In paying his own homage, Abubakar Jijiwa, representing Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) urged the conference to recommend naming or instituting something worthy in her name.
Jijiwa said the activities of Mrs. Akunyili while she headed the NAFDAC and later at the Ministry of Information and Communications showed her passion and belief in the country.
Another delegate, Aisha Ali, described her as “a strong personality and a great Nigerian who fought for the survival of Nigerians.’’ Noting that honouring her was worthwhile.
“Akunyili fought for our survival. Nobody can understand what Nigerians were going through in terms of how we were being used as guinea-pigs for drug dumping.
“I also remember when Akunyili was shot at simply because she was trying to save the health of Nigerians, particularly the women and the children,” Ali said.
She said the achievements of the deceased were indicative that if women were given the chance, they would do much more for the development of the nation.
Amuna Ali, who was the permanent secretary when Mrs. Akunyili was the minister of information, described her as dedicated, hardworking, humble and patriotic.