Tributes have flooded the media as news of the death of former Information Minister, Dora Akunyili hit the airwaves after she lost her battle with cancer at age 59.
In his tribute to Akunyili, President Goodluck Jonathan described her as a distinguished Nigerian and Patriotic citizen who would be sorely missed by all those who came in contact with her.
In a statement yesterday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati quoted the President as saying he received with shock and sadness, news of the sudden and untimely death of Professor Dora Akunyili, former Minister of Information and Communications.
“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.
Also eulogising the former NAFDAC DG’s virtues, First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan described 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.”
Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Paul Orhii, described late Dora Akunyili as a patriot and a woman of great virtue.
“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,” Orhii said.
The National President, Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, Pharm Femi Adebayo, stated: “My eyes were filled with tears when I heard about the death of a faithful and brave Nigerian,
“Pharmacist par excellence. Dora rode where men trembled, especially her fight against fake counterfeit and adulterated drugs”.
In a tribute, the Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Professor Akin Osibogun, described the news as shocking.
“It is indeed sad. I am just hearing the news from you now. Professor Dora Akunyili was a personal friend apart from working together during her days at NAFDAC.
According to Joseph Evah, national coordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group, IMG, Nigerians will miss Prof. Dora Akunyili.
“She was the first person to risk her life for President Goodluck Jonathan during the period the late President Musa Yar’Adua became sick before he died. Then, the Yar’Adua cabal, was determined to deny Jonathan his constitutional right as Vice-President to succeed the late President. The people of Niger Delta are grateful to her and are mourning her passing,” Evah said.