“Oronto and I had two similarities in life, we both had cancer. I had my last surgery, 15 years ago and I shared my experience with him”.
Those were the words of Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. She was speaking at the service of songs for the late Oronto Douglas, special adviser to the president on research and documentation that held in Abuja Thursday night.
The service was attended by a cross section of the society from civil society, government, the media, the clergy among others. Giving an insight into her past physical challenge, Okonjo-Iweala narrated how she repeatedly sought to encourage the late Douglas, using her triumph over the disease.
President Goodluck Jonathan was represented by Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, at the service which remarkably brought together his associates from both sides of the political divide including former Governor Kayode Fayemi, Pastor Tunde Bakare who brought greetings from General Muhammadu Buhari, ministers, former chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Senator-Elect Ben Murray Bruce, deputy managing director of Thisday, Mr. Kayode Komolafe among several others. Tributes from several speakers centered on how Oronto built bridges across political divides.
Tributes also came from former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State, Dr. Sam Amadi, chairman National Electricity Regulatory Commission, Rev. Nnimmo Bassey, Yinka Odumakin, Ken Saro Wiwa among others.