Dora Akunyili should resign

Dora Nkem Akunyili ,born July 14, 1954, is the former Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) of Nigeria and current Nigerian Minister of Information and Communications. She is a pharmacist and governmental administrator who has gained international recognition and won hundreds of awards for her work in pharmacology and public health

She was a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Pharmacologist in the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Nsukka (U.N.N.), Enugu Campus, before she became the NAFDAC boss.

She was born in Makurdi, Benue State (Nigeria) on the 14th of July 1954, hails from Nanka and married in Agulu, both in Anambra State of Nigeria. Akunyili's educational career started with her passing the First School Leaving Certificate with Distinction at St. Patrick's Primary School, Isuofia, Anambra State in 1966, and the West African School Certificate (W.A.S.C.) with Grade I Distinction in 1973 from Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Nsukka, both in Nigeria.

These exceptional results in the First School Leaving Certificate, and W.A.S.C. earned her the Eastern Nigerian Government Post Primary Scholarship and the Federal Government of Nigeria Undergraduate Scholarship. She got her First Degree in Pharmacy B.Pharm (Hons) in 1978 and her PhD in 1985 from U.N.N. Akunyili was a Post Doctorate Fellow of University of London and a Fellow of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacists. To prepare her for Managerial positions, she was trained on Senior Management skills Course in RIPA, London and Computer Education Programme by WHO/UNDP/World Bank Sponsored, Enugu in 1998 and 1994 respectively. Akunyili has enjoyed many academic awards and recognitions.

Dora Akunyili started her working career as a Hospital Pharmacist from 1978-1981, in the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (U.N.T.H) Enugu, after which she ventured into academics as a Graduate Assistant (Research Fellow) in Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, U.N.N. from 1982-1986. In the University system, she made a steady progress from Lecturer I in 1986 until she was made Senior Lecturer in 1990. She transferred to College of Medicine, U.N.N. in 1992, where she was made a Consultant Pharmacologist in 1996, a position she held until 12th April 2001. Due to her love for Teaching and nurturing young ones, she was also a part time lecturer of the West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists Lagos, Nigeria from 1992-1995.

When Akunyili was in NAFDAC ,we all gave her the support because she was doing very well then. Today,Akunyili to me is a shadow of herself. She is not projecting the image of Nigeria very well as the minister of information. Her attitude reminds me of the film District 9.District 9 is a film in the US described as openly portraying Nigerians as scum, as inhuman, as cannibals and even openly using Obasanjo's name as the cannibal head of the depraved Nigerian community. The film is being voted for a Best Picture Oscar, along with such films as Avatar and the Hurt Locker. According to critics, this film has done much to rubbish the image of Nigerians in the US.

The role Akunyili is playing in this Yar Adua ill health issue provokes me to re-assess myself, who I am and where I am going in this world. Akunyili to me is producing another district 9 movie.Akunyili seems to forget that she is currently the image maker of this country. She now sees herself as a social critic

Akunyili as Minister of Information and Communication have not been the success many expected. Controversies with some subordinates and failure to repaint the negative perception of Nigerians in the global community have been some of her major challenges. Nothing exceptional was heard from Mrs. Akunyili until the controversy over the ill-health of President Umaru Yar'Adua enraptured the polity. Her memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) seeking to empower Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President to many people is a way to attract cheap popularity. Now following reports of the return of President Yar'Adua to the country in the wee hours, the holier than thou attitude were again stirred in the Information Minister who was compelled to now inform inquisitive newsmen that a few have turned the ill-health of the President into a desperate game for political merchandise. Akunyili this time around is saying that she is fed up with the lies of Yar Adua's aides.She now see Yar Adua's aides as liars.

Dora Akunyili, thanks for your bold and un-Nigerian principles. Unfortunately, it appears you are at the wrong place at the right time so to say. You are in the process of destabilizing the polity. As a core member of the cabinet, you should know how to manage a lot of information about the presidency in order not to create tension in the country. Castigating your colleagues with an aim of getting your ego boosted is not the best for the interest of the nation. As an official person and most especially in the ministry of information, you are not expected to be divulging everything that transpires at the highest office of decision making for the sake of the peace and stability of the nation.

The mere fact that you are still sitting there as a minister is a testament to the fact that you are not that heroin you are pretending to be. You should have resigned honorably and separate yourself from the people you see as clowns and liars. In case you do not realize this, you are the chief image maker of Nigeria but instead of image making you are image rubbishing Nigeria. My advice to you is to resign for you are losing focus

-By Kenneth Uwadi

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Articles by Kenneth Uwadi