Sunday, June 8, 2014 12:14 pm
As Nigerians continue to react to the news of Prof. Dora Akunyili’s death on Saturday June 7, a month away from her 60th birthday, her spokesman Mr. Isaac Umunna said “She never believed she’d die now. It was a bad case but, somehow, we hoped for a miracle. But death had other ideas. Alas! ”
Umunna, on FaceBook, described his late boss as an amazon, conveying his pains at her loss in very emotional words. “Let no one deceive you; men also cry, but they do so mainly in secret.Swimming in the ocean of sorrow. Can’t look at Dora’s photo without getting emotional.”
Speaking on behalf of her family, former governor of Anambra state, Dr. Peter Obi issued a statement on Akunyili’s death, Saturday, but not before the media swooped on the news of her passing in an Indian hospital, widely circulated online.
Obi: “I wish to officially confirm the death of Prof. (Mrs.) Dora Nkem Akunyili, OFR, in a Specialist Cancer Hospital in India this morning at 10 am, Nigerian Time, after a two-year battle with cancer.
Obi said in spite of her illness Prof. Akunyili was unwavering in her belief in a better Nigeria.
That was why she defied her condition and was part of Anambra State Handover Committee and the National Conference.
“The last time I visited her in India, even when she needed all the prayers herself, she was full of concern for the abducted Chibok girls, security and other challenges facing the country and told me that she remained prayerful for the release of those girls and for God to help President Goodluck Jonathan to overcome all the challenges facing the Nation.
“She therefore urged all Nigerians to remain prayerful and committed to building a better society for our children. We all prayed together and I promised to be visiting her every month”.
He said he was grateful to those who were “fervent in prayers for her recovery”.
Dora was Born in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigerias old middle belt region, on July 14, 1954. She became the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control of Nigeria (NAFDAC) and was appointed Minister of Information and Communications in 2008, in the late President Musa Yar’Adu’a and Goodluck Jonathan governments, a position she held for two years.