The family of the former Minister of Information, Akunyili family has officially confirmed her death, claiming the lady jewel of Nigerian politics died still holding her trust in a one and better Nigeria.
The former iron lady of the ruling PDP died on Saturday in an India Hospital at the age of 59.
According to a statement signed by the former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, on behalf of the family, claimed the former NAFDAC chieftain died at 10 a.m. Nigerian time in a Specialist Cancer Hospital in India after losing a two-year battle with cancer.
“In spite her illness, Prof. Akunyili was unwavering in her belief in a better Nigeria,” Mr. Obi said. “That was why she defied her condition and was part of Anambra State Handover Committee and the National Conference.”
Mr Obi recalled that he had visited her in India, claiming she even went beyond her own need for prayers, expressing concern for the abducted Chibok girls, security and other challenges facing the country.
She remained prayerful for the release of the girls and for God to help President Goodluck Jonathan to overcome all the challenges facing Nigeria.
“She therefore urged all Nigerians to remain prayerful and committed to building a better society for our children,” he said.
Mrs. Akunyili died four weeks after she was flown to Bangalore, India for further treatment, as a follow-up to her ongoing treatment in Abuja, where she was participating in the National Conference despite her obvious condition.
She is widely acknowledged for her groundbreaking work as the first Director-General of the National Agency for Food & Drug Administration & Control (NAFDAC), where she helped to break many drug cartels in the country, and as Minister of Information.
News Express reported today the former Minister spent her final hours in the peaceful presence of her husband, Dr. Chike Akunyili, and her brother, Dr. Francis Anayo Edemobi. It was learned that both of them traveled to India with her on May 11.
“Popularly known as The Amazon, Professor Dora Akunyili was a first class patriot who deeply loved Nigeria and served the country with all she had, irrespective of whatever risks [were] involved in doing so,” the newspaper eulogized. “She demonstrated this in all her assignments – from the classroom at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), to the Presidential (Special) Task Force (PTF), Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, and the on-going National Conference in Abuja, of which she was a member until her death.”
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, received the nes of the death of the former Minister with great shock.
In a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Sam Onwumuedo, Governor Okorocha said that Dora was a big asset to the nation and her death at this time was a colossal loss to the country as Nigeria needs the service of people like her in this trying period.
The Governor described her as an illustrious Igbo woman who has contributed immensely to the development of the nation.
Governor Okorocha prayed that God should grant her eternal rest and grant the family and loved ones divine consolation.
First Published June 2013
The former Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Prof. Dora Akunyili, has said her inability to establish a Drug Mart during her tenure is one of her greatest life regrets.
Akunyili, who came into reckoning with her head-on challenge against fake drug marketers/importers, also blamed fake and counterfeit drugs in the country on the absence of an alternative to the chaotic and unregulated drug markets.
The Professor of Pharmacology said she had nursed the idea of a drug mart right from when she became DG at NAFDC but was unable to realize the dream.
Akunyili, who spoke at the inauguration of the state Drug Mart in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, was full of praise for Governor Seriake Dickson for the initiative.
She said the idea of establishing the mart was approved by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and was to be constructed in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
By the plan, she revealed, Bayelsa was to be the headquarters for the South-South zone of the centre.
Akunyili said, “I have nursed the idea of the Drug Mart for many years right from when I was the Director-General of NAFDAC, but my inability to bring it to fruition before now remained one of my greatest regrets.
“Today I feel fulfilled that the pragmatic Governor of Bayelsa State has bought the idea and decided to partner with my NGO, Dora Akunyili Foundation, to actualise the dream of putting in place a drug mart or drug distribution centre in Bayelsa State.
“It took about a decade for this lofty dream to be actualised, courtesy of the countryman governor of Bayelsa State, the quitesssantial leader par excellence.”