Relatives of late Dr. Chike Akunyili on Friday, October 1, opened up on the life and times of their brother, uncle, and father whose murder has left an aching void in the family.
In a statement released in honour of his memory, the family members wailed that Dr. Akunyili's death have forced them to grief twice as they recalled some unknown facts about the deceased as reported by The Nation.
Fought the Nigeria-Biafra civil war
While a young man, Akunyili fought as a soldier in the 1967-70 civil war, an experience that spurred him to become a doctor so as to save lives.
Survived war bullet in his skull
Until now, very few persons knew that Dr Akunyili had miraculously lived with a bullet in his skull which was one of the hazards of the civil war he took part in.
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Gave free medical treatment for 45 years
Being a true philanthropist, the medical practitioner gave free medical service for 45 years to Catholic priests at Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, his alma mater.
Ran a mobile clinic in northern Nigeria
The statement also revealed that he started his healing journey in the north where he built and ran a mobile clinic in Jaban Kogo and for years lived and worked among the people, studying and becoming fluent in Hausa to better serve his patients.
Earned a National Youth Service Merit award
Akunyili's commitment to providing healthcare to the Jaban Kogo community earned him the National Youth Service Merit Award.
Speaking further about Akunyili, the family said:
“He was a man of the people, loved by many for his wisdom and for his courage to always speak the truth. His counsel was sought far and wide.
“He was an ordinary man who, every day, showed his extraordinary commitment to his community and his people by his ability to help people in need without question.
“In his final days, his heart was heavy about the state of things in Nigeria. He lamented about the struggles of people unable to pay for treatment anymore and about the unfortunate state of unrest where human life had lost its value."
DSS speaks on death of late Dora Akunyili's husband
The spokesman of the security agency, Peter Afunanya, in a statement late Wednesday, September 29, said the attention of the Service was drawn to the allegations.
The DSS described the allegations as spurious and illogical.