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Akunyili, A Distinguished Citizen, Patriot, Says Jonathan

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… An Intellectual Of International Repute, Says Mark

SAN FRANCISCO, June 07, (THEWILL) â€' President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has received with shock and sadness, news of the sudden and untimely death of Professor Dora Akunyili, former Minister of Information and Communications, the Presidency said in a statement on Saturday.

'The President believes that Professor Akunyili will 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 considers her contributions to nation-building while she served as the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and as Minister of Information and Communications, particularly invaluable.

'The President states that it is sad that her death has come at a time she was making further efforts to help sustain and strengthen the unity and stability of the country in her capacity as a member of the on-going National Conference. Without any doubt, she will be greatly missed.

'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,' the President said in the statement by his spokesman, Reuben Abati.

In the same vein, Senate President David Mark has expressed regrets over the death of former Akunyili, describing her as an intellectual of international repute.

Senator Mark noted that the nation has lost one of her patriotic and dedicated public officer who believed in the sanctity of unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.

He recalled the unwavering commitment and dedication of Late Akunyili as the then Director General of NAFDAC and even as the nation's chief image maker when she brought Nigeria to the global reckoning with her campaign of great Nigeria, Great people.

Senator Mark stressed that Nigerian would not forget in a hurry her resolute and relentless war against fake and counterfeit drugs when she chased the illicit drug peddlers out of the market.

'We have lost a great amazon. We have lost a scholar. We have lost a crusader. We have lost a soldier who stood to be counted when it mattered. We shall miss her robust and honest contributions to the socio- political and economic development on Nigeria', the Senate President lamented.

He prayed that the Almighty God grant her eternal rest just as he prayed that God gives the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the loss.