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Obiano Mourns Akunyili, Describes Her As Shooting Star

By James Eze
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The Executive Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has expressed a deep sense of shock and sadness over the passage of the former Minister of Information and one time Director General of National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili who passed away today at a Specialist Hospital in Bangalore, India.

In a carefully worded Condolence Message signed by James Eze, his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Governor Obiano described the late counterfeit drugs czar as a shooting star whose dazzling sparkles illuminated the universe while she lived.

'Dora was a meteor; a shooting star whose brilliant sparkles illuminated our universe all through her adult life. She led the life of one who had a foreboding that she did not have much time to spare. She carried a sense of mission and urgency in her approach to public life, leaving the quintessential Dora signature on every task she handled. Dora had no second thoughts on putting her life on the line once she had the courage of her own conviction. She was an Amazon; a fearless fighter who braved the traumatizing pain of the illness that claimed her to participate in some sessions of the on-going National Conference in Abuja. Humanity is poorer with her demise at a young age of 59,' Governor Obiano surmised.

Recalling his last contact with Dr. Mrs Akunyili, the governor narrated how he had paid the ailing former minister a visit in a specialist hospital in Abuja along with his wife, Ebele, and made spirited efforts to assure her of the support of his government and the people of Anambra State. 'We left her with a firm hope that being such a fierce fighter, she would overcome the scourge but alas, that was not to be,' Chief Obiano stated.

'Although Dora is no more with us today, we are consoled by the monumental legacy she left behind. Nigerians will never forget that as the Director General of NAFDAC, Dora waged a long, fierce battle against importers of fake drugs and unsafe foods and had many close encounters with death.

'As a federal minister, her light blazed forth like a luminous planetary body. She won awards and honours across the world and put our beloved Anambra State on the map. Dora single-handedly wrote her name in the skies where the vagaries of time cannot corrode it. But she also left an imprint on our hearts and that is why we will always love her,' the governor further observed.

He expressed his deepest condolences to the Akunyili family in Agulu, her home town of Nanka, Ndi Anambra and fellow Nigerians whose lives the late Amazon had touched with her many acts of greatness.

'Our thoughts are with the Akunyili family, Ndi Anambra and all Nigerians who knew and loved Dora in this moment of grief. We pray that Almighty God will grant us all the fortitude to bear this loss and the wisdom to live a life of meaning like Dora,' governor declared further pointing out that in her death, the world had lost one of its rare tribe of crusaders whose little acts had sought to reshape it.

James Eze
SSA, Media