By onyekachi eze
Eighteen months after the untimely death of former Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, FUTO, Professor Celestine Onwuliri, the widow and Coordinating Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prof (Mrs) Viola Adaku Onwuliri is still in pains over the huge vacuum created in the family by the demise of the husband.
It would be recalled that Prof Cele Onwuliri alongside other passengers lost their lives in the ill-fated Dana airline crash that occurred on Sunday June 3, 2012 in Lagos.
In an emotion laden voice, Prof (Mrs) Onwuliri revealed that she is yet to overcome the trauma that befell the entire Onwuliri family after the Dana air crash of 2012. The Minister told Trumpeta in an interview that “my husband is unforgettable. I miss him greatly because he was an epitome of success, greatness and humility during the time he was alive. Everybody in our house misses him especially the children who benefited a lot from his wisdom, fatherly love and care. At every age of the children, he played a prominent role as a teacher, friend, and comforter to the children. I am still in pains. He even taught them at their under-graduate levels and never relented to fill any missing gap in the life of my children. My husband was more to me like a brother, friend, father of my children and motivator. There is no doubt that I learnt a lot from him”.
Speaking further on the relationship with the late husband, the Minister noted that the former FUTO VC was her backbone in undertaking certain socio-political and other challenges concerning the society adding that it would be difficult for the family to erase the memory of the late scholar, academia and ranking Knight of the Catholic Church, who left enviable marks while on earth.
On her sojourn into politics from the classroom as a university lecturer, the dark-skinned Minister said that she has no regret pairing with the immediate past Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, for the 2011 governorship election, under PDP platform.
According to her, “there is no regret becoming running mate to Chief Ikedi Ohakim as the PDP flag bearer for the governorship election. We were coasting to victory until what happened during the April election. We did not lose the election, it was our victory until the stolen mandate came up”
The Minister used the opportunity to drum support for the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who she opined is not only transforming the country but also eager to take the country to the Promised Land.