– Described as Margret Thatcher of Igboland

By Martin Opara

The former Minister of Education who previously served as minister for Foreign Affairs Prof. Viola Onwuliri, whose husband the former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof. Celestine Onwuliri, was among the victims of the DANA plane crash, has continued to receive accolades for her resilience, philanthropy and leadership acumen.


She had, before now, bagged many awards, some of which include that from the Federal Task Force against corruption, in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the fight against corruption. She also received an award from the Turkish airline for her effort in attracting more fleets of the airline to Nigeria and ensuring the needed rosy bilateral relationship.

Aside this, she was honoured by the Living Edge Group, in association with Dubai quality group, as most outstanding female minister in 2012. The Nigerian Foreign Service also honoured her for positively projecting the country’s image before the international community.

The erudite professor, was also given an award as most performing minister by the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (National Assembly) chapter. Other awards in her kitty, include those given to her, by the National Mirror Newspaper, the Old Girls’ Association of Owerri Girls Secondary School, as utility icon. That also from the golden voice choir of St. Aquinas catholic chaplaincy, federal university of Technology, Owerri as Mother of Faith and an award by the block rosary crusade of Ahiara Catholic Diocese as great promoter of the course of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In addition to all these, most of the widows whom she had assisted by building houses, training their children in various schools, providing startup capital for trading, etc, recently converged in her compound, in Ahiazu Mbaise to appreciate and celebrate her. They described her as Margaret Thatcher of Igbo land, as she takes delight in solving other people’s problems, giving hope and succor to the hopeless and down trodden.

The Orlu Catholic Diocese, in recognition and appreciation of these rare qualities and glowing attributes, also, recently gave her a befitting and well deserved honour.