Dr Erizali

Dr. Erizali Opio: “He was great, kind and honest” – children eulogise him

(Last Updated On: 19 April 2024)

Kampala |“Another tree has fallen” were four words Lira City East MP and UPC President Jimmy Akena and Dr Alfred Olwa, Bishop of the Diocese of Lango said on Friday, April 19.

Akena and the Bishop were among thousands of people who attended the funeral service for the distinguished son of Lango and Uganda at St Andrews Church of Uganda Bukoto in Kampala.

Dr. Erizali Opio died on April 15 at Nakasero Hospital in Kampala, aged 83, after being bedridden for three months. He was an exceptional physician, philanthropist, and mentor who served and gave with a pure heart.

“My day (Dr. Erizali Opio) was a nation in his own right and beyond,” Bishop Olwa told the congregation as he led the service. “We will never see him again on this side of the world but we will be able to be with him in the presence of the Lord..”

Dr. Erizali served as the national team’s doctor while also working at Mulago National Hospital. This was in the 1970s.

In his eulogy, Professor Celestino Obua honours his late brother.

 “….the team Doctor of Uganda Cranes and he loved to participate in some sports; played table tennis, soccer. That is how he became the team Doctor of Uganda Cranes and that was the time Uganda Cranes used to win all over.

“I don’t hear that anymore but it looks like Uganda Cranes lack a Doctor like Doctor Opio.”

Also read: Dr Erizali Opio: Former Uganda Cranes Doctor passes on aged 83

Dr. Erizali did more than just treating patients and Professor Obua said that is the role he played, adding that he was a Doctor of all colours. “It is something that the noble profession bestows on us.”

Dr. Samuel Opio Acuti, Member of Parliament of Kole North is Erizali’s 5th child. He described his Dad as honest and hard worker.

“Daddy was a hard worker, he didn’t pick a bribe from anyone, he did not touch what was not his; he really focused on what God had put before him however little it was he used it for God’s glory.”

“And I encourage you all, because as a politician, I have been in Parliament for three years and I’m the Vice chair of the Health Committee. When you read some of these Auditor General’s Reports, it is really painful….”

Dr. Acuti told the Church that God had appointed “special Day, April 15” for the passing of Dad, recollecting major events, deaths of top world nationals who passed on April 15.

“Daddy was a Doctor who was kind to every patient and when you didn’t have money he would still treat you for free,” he said.

Dr. Martin Otyek says Dad was “a man of consistency who did the same thing every day, in the same way for more than almost 70 years.” “For me as a Doctor, I learnt from him [consistency]. He did things diligently with passion.”

Dr Erizali Opio
The children and some grandchildren and daughters in laws of Dr. Erizali Opio. Courtesy photo.

Dr. Erizali was a humble man, his son, Otyek says. “Whatever he did, he never boasted about it – that is the man he was, adding that he was a man of sacrifice who gave his time to “almost everyone: his patients, relatives; he educated almost half a village..”

Paul Okello, Doctor’s last born child, said father loved his profession. “Home was a clinic at times. Whenever patients come home to be treated, Dad would not turn them away or tell them to wait at the clinic, he would attend to them.

“I remember in 2007 during post-election violence in Kenya, there was looting going on in different homes, people were looting from one to the next but when they reached our home – our home was spared. They said this is Daktaris’ home, let’s not touch it. All that was because Dad was respected in  society.

Aunt Hellen Opio, widow remembers her husband as a man, dad and father who “gave her all” since they knew each other since 1976.

“A very good friend, very loving, very caring. I told people yesterday [at the vigil] that he gave me all that I needed which he could afford. I have lived a very happy life with him and we have brought up these children together – good children, loving and caring like their dad.”

Ambassador Dickson Ogwang Okul, MPs Paul Omara, Santa Alum; Samuel Okwir Odwe; Dr Wana Etyam, UPC leader Jimmy Akena and the deceased elder brother, Mzee Lameck Ogwal, were part of the thousands who attended the funeral service.

Dr. Erizali will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 27 in Alito, Kole district.

tndNews sends its deepest condolences to the bereaved family, friends, and in-laws during this difficult time.

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