Lagos – The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on Saturday said that the death of the former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, was a great loss to the Party.
Similarly, Socio Cultural and Civil Rights Groups in Nigeria such as the Afenifere, Campaign for Democracy (CD) and Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) said that the former minister would be remembered for her exemplary patriotism.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akunyili, a former Minister of Information, and former Director General of NAFDAC, lost the battle to cancer in an Indian Hospital on Saturday morning.
The former minister, who contested for a position in the Senate on the platform of APGA died at the age of 59.
In a telephone interview with NAN, the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Maxi Okwu, described the late Akunyili as a trail blazer trailer, who would be greatly missed by the party and most importantly the nation.
“Akunyili was one of APGA’s personalities that raised my hands at APGA’s National Convention in Awka in 2013.
“I sincerely hoped she would survive, being a dogged fighter but God knows best.
“May her soul rest in peace,” Okwu said.
In its reaction, the Yoruba socio-cultural political group, Afenifere, described Akunyili as a great woman.
The Spokesman of Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin, told NAN that Akunyili was a brave, assertive and distinguished woman who gave her best to her country.
“She even surfaced at the Confab in spite of her failed health.
“May her courageous soul rest in the blossom of our Lord,” Odumakin said.
Also speaking, Dr Joe Odumakin, the President of the Campaign for Democracy (CD) lamented the demise of Akunyili, saying that she would always be remembered for her tenacity and courageous pursuit of ideals both as director general of NAFDAC and as a minister of information.
“Akunyili displayed exemplary candour in the moment of constitutional crisis in Nigeria in 2010 when she joined patriotic Nigerians to speak boldly against the `cabal’ that wanted to drag the country to the precipice over a succession that ought to have been a cinch.
“Her exemplary patriotism was further displayed when she showed up at the National Conference in spite of the toll the illness had taken on her physical appearance.
“Now she is free from it all to take her deserved rest. It is our prayer that God grants her soul eternal rest and protect the family she left behind,” the CD President said.
In his reaction, the Lagos State Chairman of the CLO, Mr Ehi Omokhuale, said it would be long before Nigeria could get someone to play the role of Akunyili as the NAFDAC DG.
“Before Akunyili came on board, many Nigerians did not know the ills bedeviling the health sector with the manufacture and sale of fake drugs.
“Akunyili not only opened the eyes of Nigerians and the international world to it, she fought the fake drug dealers to a standstill.
“We missed her when she left and we will continue to miss her,” Omokhuale said.