Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr, daughter of the slain Dr Chike Akunyili, has revealed in a tribute posted to social media on Thursday that she spoke with her father a day before he was murdered.
Akunyili, a medical doctor, was attacked by gunmen still at large at Nkpor junction, Onitsha, Anambra State on Tuesday.
His driver and police aide were also killed. Akunyili was returning to Enugu from a lecture in honour of his late famous wife, Dora Akunyili when he was waylaid.
Akunyili-Parr said she and her father spoke about how timely the lecture was considering its closeness to her (Akunyili-Parr) birthday.
“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,” she wrote.
“He asked after his newest grandchild whom he had given the name Mmesomma – ‘the one who does 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 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 to take care of himself.”
Concluding her tribute, she wrote, “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.”
Akunyili-Parr, a writer, got married to Andrew Parr in 2018. They welcomed their first child Mmesomma in August.