NIGERIA: Tribute to Akunyili

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Jonathan: A  distinguished Citizen, Patriot

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday expressed shock and sadness at the news of the sudden and untimely death of former Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili.

Tweeting, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said Jonathan believed that Akunyili would live long in the memories of those who were privileged to know her as a diligent professional, a public-spirited and forthright public officer, and as a person of great convictions.
“President Jonathan commiserates with the Akunyili family, the government and people of Anambra State, members of the National Conference and all her loved ones. He prays that the Almighty in His infinite mercies will grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss of this truly distinguished citizen and patriot,” Abati tweeted.
Mark, Ekweremadu Mourn
Senate President David Mark and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday mourned the departed former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili, saying Nigeria has lost a social crusader and an intellectual of international repute.
Mark, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, recalled the late Akunyili’s commitment in her days as the Director General of National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), noting that she brought Nigeria to the level of global reckoning. He also noted her dedication as the nation’s image maker when she vigorously pursued the move to rebrand Nigeria with the slogan: ‘Great Nigeria, Great People’.
In his own statement entitled: ‘Akunyili: Exit of an Uncommon Role Model’ Ekweremadu called for immortalisation of the late professor, describing her as “a woman of substance, unequalled character and courage who brought respect and glory to the nation.”
Tambuwal: A Class Apart
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has expressed shock over the news of the passing away of the former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyuli. In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal described the deceased as a patriot whose tenacity and commitment to duty saved millions of Nigerians from untimely deaths due to effect of fake and substandard drugs.
He said her tenure as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) would be remembered as a glorious moment for Nigeria. The Speaker described Akunyuli as a brilliant pharmacist whose compassion and concerns for the general wellbeing of the people was paramount.
Gov Chime Expresses Shock
Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State has expressed profound shock and sadness over the death of former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili,  describing it as a serious blow to the nation; in a reaction signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Achife.
He described the deceased as a towering Amazon of excellence whose public service record was as exemplary as it was inspiring in that she epitomised the rare values of integrity, diligence, dedication, courage and selflessness in the various capacities that she served the nation.
Fashola: A Different Breed
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday condoled with the family of the former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, over her passage.
In a condolence letter to the family of the deceased the governor described Akunyili as an outstanding woman who showed Nigeria that she was a different breed. “Even till the weeks preceding her death, Mrs. Akunyili continued to show her passion for service to the Nation by serving as a delegate at the National Conference”, the Governor added, in a release issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Hakeem Bello.
Maku Expresses Shock
Minister of Information Mr. Labaran Maku, yesterday said the death of his immediate predecessor and former Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Akunyili, was shocking.
Maku in a statement personally signed by him said Akunyili’s death was a huge loss to her family, the entire women folk, and the country in general. “She was a patriot, who devoted her career to the struggle to enhance the quality of life of the citizenry. Prof. Akunyili displayed uncommon passion and zest  for service to the nation. She was a social crusader whose faith in Nigeria was unwavering.”
Saraki: A Vibrant Woman
Former governor of Kwara State and chairman Senate committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Bukola Saraki, has expressed shock over the death of Professor Dora Akunyili. Saraki, in a condolence message issued in Ilorin yesterday, described Akunyili as one of most vibrant women ministers Nigeria ever had.
“Nigeria has once again lost a rare gem, a vibrant, focused, energetic and passionate woman who drove laudable and sustainable changes in Nigeria through her service to the nation particularly as the Director General of NAFDAC- which marked the beginning of a well sustained revolution in the fight against fake food and drugs in Nigeria,” he added.
Gov Dickson in Shock, Disbelief
Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson, has expressed deep shock, regret and disappointment over the untimely death of Nigeria’s one time Minister of Information and National Orientation, Prof. Dora Akunyili, who died yesterday morning at an Indian hospital, after a long battle with a cancer related ailment.
In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Governor Dickson said he received the news of Akunyili’s death with a deep sense of loss and disbelief, describing her passage as a great loss to her family, state and Nigeria, stressing that, she gave her very best to every assignment and position she held at various times and levels of society.
Orhii: She Left an Indedible Legacy
Director General of National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, yesterday while mourning the passage of the former Minister of Information and NAFDAC DG, Prof. Dora Akunyili, described her death as shocking, stating that she left indelible and rich legacies behind.
According to Orhii, “it is with great shock but with total submission to the will of God that I received the sad news of the death of Prof. Dora Akunyili. She was a woman who loved Nigeria deeply and dedicated her entire life up till the very last minute to the service of this great nation.”
Okonjo-Iweala: A Passionate Achiever
Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in a tribute said “I learnt of the passing of Dora Nkem Akunyili with great sadness. She was indeed a remarkable personality who served Nigeria with passion and tenacity. Our last exchange over a joint trip to Niger still bespoke of the Dora we know full of life and passion for the causes she believed in.
“We must not forget that Dora was first and foremost a committed wife and mother. My heart goes out to her husband and children. Her legacy as DG NAFDAC will continue to inspire for a long time to come. The fact that Nigerians consistently voted NAFDAC under her watch the most admired government agency speaks volumes about her leadership and achievements,”  Okonjo-Iweala added, in a statement issued by her media aide, Paul Nwabiukwu.
First Lady Mourns
The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, has described the former Minister of Information, and erstwhile Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili, as a “titan,” who left an indelible mark with the passion and conviction with which she served the nation. She described the late Akunyili’s departure as, “A great loss to the nation and the womenfolk.”
Dame Jonathan, in a release, observed that the late Akunyili demonstrated that if given the opportunity, women can make a difference as evident from her glowing career as an internationally renowned pharmacist, respected academic and distinguished administrator. She called late Akunyili, “A bright and shining star,” saying that, “While we mourn her loss, we offer thanksgiving to God for her sojourn on this mortal earth and for her service to the nation and humanity.”
Bayo Ojo: Dora’s Death, Tragedy to Humanity
Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, has described the death of Prof. Dora Akunyili as a personal tragedy to humanity. Ojo who is also a delegate at the National Conference as the deceased, recalled her passion for humanity both in public and private life, especially when they both served in the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He said: “Humanity is mourning today. It just lost one of its most passionately-committed allies. Akunyili was a rare breed in defining selflessness. She lived for others, putting her life permanently on the line as the scourge of death merchants who lived on blood money made from fake killer drugs. She lived for Nigerians, was concerned for the nation when others in her shoes would be the concern, and died wishing the nation, her people and humanity, well.”
Ita Giwa: Akunyili, Bayero Will Be Missed
Former Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on National Assembly Matters and the Chairman of the committee on Environment at the National Conference, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, has commiserated with the government of Anambra and Kano States over the deaths of the former NAFDAC boss, Dora Akunyili and the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, who died at the age of 59 and 83 respectively.
In a statement made available THISDAY yesterday, Ita-Giwa described Dora as a dependable woman who fought tirelessly in reducing fake drugs and control during her enviable stint as NAFDAC DG. She praised her courage and commitments to the national cause till her untimely death yesterday in an Indian hospital.
Ashafa, Ikuforiji Pay Tribute
The Vice-Chairman of Senate Committee on Housing, Sen. Gbenga Ashafa and Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, yesterday paid tribute to former Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), late Prof. Dora Akunyili, who passed on in an Indian hospital on Saturday at 59. The legislators in different statements described the deceased as an uncommon patriot and a most courageous heroine, who put her life on the line for the general good of Nigerians while fighting against counterfeit drugs. The lawmakers said that it was a monumental national tragedy for the country “to lose an uncommon patriot like Prof. Dora Akunyili at this time, when our country is going through so much stress.”
CAN Commiserate with  Family
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has commiserated with the family of Akunyili on the demise of the former Information Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili. In a statement signed by CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, he expressed shock and sadness on the death of the former Director General of NAFDAC.
Oritsejafor described the death of Akunyili as a great loss not only to her family but to the entire nation and humanity at large given her track record in public service. “On behalf of the entire Christian community in Nigeria, I condole with the Akunyili family over the demise of one of Nigeria’s finest public officers,”  he said.
APGA, Afenifere, CD, Others Mourn
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) yesterday said the death of the former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, was a great loss to the Party.
Similarly, Socio Cultural and Civil Rights Groups in Nigeria such as the Afenifere, Campaign for Democracy (CD) and Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) said the former minister would be remembered for her exemplary patriotism.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akunyili, a former Minister of Information, and former Director General of NAFDAC, lost the battle to cancer in an Indian Hospital on Saturday morning. The former minister, who contested for a position in the Senate on the platform of APGA, died at the age of 59.
Uwazurike: NAFDAC Was Synonymous with Akunyili
Aka Ikenga, the Pan Igbo Organisation, also mourned the death of the former Minister of Information, Prof Dora Akunyili, who passed away yesterday in a hospital in India, according to a release by the group’s president, Chief Goddy Uwazurike.
“In her life time, she fought many titanic battles, chief of which was against the prevalence of fake drugs in the country. She so excelled in this fight that the fear of Dora Akunyili was the beginning of wisdom. Indeed NAFDAC was synonymous with Dora Akunyili. Yes, she was an energetic minister, a loving wife and mother and even many more to us all”, Uwazurike added.
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