Tribute Dora Akunyili: Hallmark of Service & Distinction
By Daniel Iworiso-Markson
Her dogged appearance at the recent National Conference in spite of her health challenges exemplified her essence as a true patriot. She was determined to add her voice to the national conversation on how best we could possibly create a new Nigeria where we can all live together in peace, harmony and prosperity. Regrettably, she lost the battle to cancer, a battle she had fought relentlessly in the last 17 years through her meritorious stewardship as a public servant. Her activist leadership in the public sphere caught both national and international attention, affecting our psyche so much that many begun to reason that with people like her, there was still a lot of hope in our nation and in the process clearing the negative perception that public servants are generally self-serving. course, her heroic deeds were to account for such passionate and emotional feelings of a huge loss among Nigerians when she eventually succumbed to death on Saturday, June 8, 2014. She was aged 59. Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili (OFR) was an enigma whose death will continue to be remembered because of her uncommon legacy. She came, saw and conquered. By her personal example, Akunyili thought us how we can overcome the malaise of integrity at whatever level of leadership we find ourselves. She was a rare public officer who was very dedicated to duty and made indelible contributions to national development. She stood out in the crowd, etching her name in gold From her first outing as the Zonal Secretary (South East) of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) in 1998, the hallmark of integrity, honesty, excellence and decorum in public office had defined her. Interestingly, this humble beginning was to later recommend her for higher office. Her personal narrative of how former President Olusegun Obasanjo discovered her when he was looking for a decent professional to clean up the then waning and corrupt National Agency for Food and Drug Administrati
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