A Service of Songs was held in Lagos on Thursday, for the late Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, who died in the June 3 Dana Air plane crash.

Themed, ‘Celebration of Life’, the programme held in honour of the late Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), enjoyed an impressive attendance.

Each attendee was frisked at Harbour Point Events Centre, venue of the programme, by security personnel who stood guard at the entrance.

A short opening prayer, followed by a praise and worship session, helped improve the gloomy mood of the attendees at the event.

A short documentary on “Livi,” as the deceased was fondly called by friends, described Ajuonuma as a successful and fulfilled man.

In his brief sermon, Pastor Kehinde Adegbolahan, Mountain of Fire and Miracle’s Assistant General Overseer, said questioning the death of the deceased was not important, but dwelling on how we have been living “the life God has given us”.

“Many people died without making any impact and they are buried in an unknown grave. Our brother is in heaven, he died having made great impact,” he said.

Diezani Allison-Maduekwe, Minister for Petroleum, described the deceased as “a consummate professional loved by everybody” and “a great loss”.

“If we know how beautiful the place Levi has gone is, perhaps, we will be killing ourselves, but thank God for keeping that secret from us until we cross to the other side,” she added.

A representative of NNPC’s Group Public Affair Division said Ajuonuma’s “impact exceeded that of 30 years”, even though, he was with the company for less than a decade.

In the documentary, Ajuonuma was quoted as saying, “It is easy to criticise when you are outside but when you are inside and know the truth, it is easy to change your view,” while defending his initial objection to the controversial fuel subsidy removal.

One of his daughters, Mimi, however, seemed to transfer some emotions to some of the attendees while paying tribute to her late father, in tears.

“They say you do not know what you’ve got until it is lost. The truth is you knew what you had, you just never knew you would lose it,” she said.

Born on December 2, 1959, in Enugu, Ajuonuma is survived by his wife and eight children; four boys and four girls.

The deceased worked with the Imo State Broadcasting Service, Owerri, as a broadcaster, following his high school education.

He later left for Hungtington College, Indiana, in the USA, where he got Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.

After that, he got Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota in 1983 and 1987, respectively.

He got an MBA from Plymouth College of the University System of New Hampshire State, in 1989.

The deceased worked briefly as Assistant Professor at the Department of Journalism, Keene State College of the University System of the State of New Hampshire, before his return to the country.

Many will remember Ajuonuma on popular shows like: The Nation Today on NTA Channel 10; Levi Ajuonuma Live; Insurance and You; Morning Ride; Showtime on NTA Network; and The Sunday Show.

He was with the NNPC from November 2003 until his death.

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