President Jonathan on Saturday said he received with shock and sadness the news of the sudden and untimely death of Akunyili, who was a former Minister of Information and Communications.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President said he believed that Akunyili would 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.”
He said he considered the deceased’s contributions to nation-building while she served as the DG of NAFDAC as well as as minister invaluable.
The statement read, “The President states that it is sad that her death has come at a time she was making further efforts to help sustain and strengthen the unity and stability of the country in her capacity as a member of the ongoing National Conference. Without any doubt, she will be greatly missed.
“President Jonathan commiserates with the Akunyili family, the government and people of Anambra State, members of the National Conference and all her loved ones.”
She believed in Nigeria — Obi
A former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Peter Obi, described Akunyili as a firm believer in Nigeria.
“In spite 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,” Obi said.
In a statement issued by Obi on behalf of the family of Akunyili, announcing her death, he urged everyone to pray for the peaceful repose of her soul.
He said, “We thank all those who remained fervent in prayers for her recovery and urge them to remain prayerful.”
Dora, a patriotic Nigerian – Aliyu
THE Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, described the death as a big blow to Nigeria in the area of intellectual competence and patriotic citizenship.
He described Akunyili as a fountain of knowledge, professional expertise, who exuded servant leadership during her national service.
The governor’s position was contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Israel Ebije, who described Akunyili as a good example of a true Nigerian who, despite her ill health, was ready to offer her fountain of knowledge at the ongoing national conference.
She said, “Professor Dora Akunyili was a leading example of patriotic leader for change. She believed in the Nigerian project and continued to champion her belief even till death.”
She was a rare gem- Saraki
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Environment, Senator Bukola Saraki has described the dead of Akunyili as shocking.
“Nigeria has once again lost a rare gem, a vibrant, focused, energetic and passionate woman who drove laudable and sustainable changes in Nigeria through her service to the nation particularly as the Director General of NAFDAC- which marked the beginning of a well sustained revolution in the fight against fake food and drugs in Nigeria.
“We have come this far through the rough roads as a nation, hurtling through various edges and seasons not to record death of men and women who have been essentially instrumental to our growth and togetherness as a nation- no doubt, the death of Prof. Dora Akuyili is another blow too many; we need to be fervent in prayers as a people so that men and women who have struggled for this nation in spite of the doubting challenges should witness the new dawn of a better Nigeria,” he said.
A remarkable woman — High Commissioner to India
The Nigerian High Commissioner to India, Ambassador Ndubuisi Amaku, who spoke to News Agency of Nigeria, said the former NAFDAC boss was dogged in her fight against fake and counterfeit drugs in Nigeria.
“Dora Akunyili made a remarkable impact in the fight against fake and counterfeit drugs. I am pained like any other Nigerian that we lost a woman who was so dedicated to Nigeria.
“She was an uncommon woman who did everything to uphold the dignity of Nigeria in the health sector. She was a remarkable woman and figure and we will miss her so much,’’ Amaku said.
Her death, a great loss — Ngige
Senator Chris Ngige said he was shocked to hear about the death of Professor Dora Akunyili, describing her as a sister and friend.
“I received with great shock and sadness the news of the passing on of my sister, friend and schoolmate, Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili. Her death is a tremendous blow and loss to her family as well as to Anambra, Nigeria, Africa and all humanity.
“Although Dora and I had a very spirited contest in 2011 for the Anambra Central Senatorial Seat into the 7th Senate of the National Assembly, she and I had been friends and very close. We were schoolmates at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka,” Ngige said.
Akunyili, uncommon role model — Ekweremadu
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, on Saturday described the late Akunyili as a role model and called for her immortalisation.
Ekweremadu expressed grief and shock over the death of the former minister.
He described the late pharmacist as a “woman of substance, unequalled character and courage who brought respect and glory to the nation”
Dora was a passionate achiever – Okonjo-Iweala
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala described Akuyili as a remarkable personality who served Nigeria with passion and tenacity. “Our last exchange over a joint trip to Niger still bespoke of the Dora we know full of life and passion for the causes she believed in.
“We must not forget that Dora was first and foremost a committed wife and mother. My heart goes out to her husband and children.
“Her legacy as DG NAFDAC will continue to inspire for a long time to come. The fact that Nigerians consistently voted NAFDAC under her watch the most admired government agency speaks volumes about her leadership and achievements,” she said.
She’s a great loss to APGA — Okwu
The All Progressives Grand Alliance said the death of Akunyili was a great loss to the party.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria, the factional National Chairman of APGA, Mr. Maxi Okwu, described the late Akunyili as a trail blazer, 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.
She was a patriotic — Orhii
The Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr Paul Orhii, has also expressed shock over the death of Akunyili.
“It was with 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 highly patriotic woman who deeply loved Nigeria and dedicated her entire life to the service of this great nation. May God, the most merciful and most beneficent, grant her eternal rest in perfect peace,” he said.
Orhii said Akunyili’s legacy would forever be remembered.
Akunyili lives on — Ezekwesili
On her twitter handle, the former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, lamented the death of the former NAFDAC boss, describing it as a loss.
“How does one mourn Dora? She was so full of energy to serve that we could never have thought she would close her eyes in death. What a loss,” Ezekwesili posted.
“Memories of encounters flash through your mind when a person dies. Good ones make you cry more…Wishing you never wasted moments for more… Nigeria and Nigerian people will miss Dora more than she could ever know. She believed in a war and fought it with all she had. She lives on.
“We mourn. We deeply mourn the death of our sister, Dora Nkem Akunyili. We pray that God will comfort her family on all sides. Peace. Peace,” she added.
She was an Amazon- Aka Ikenga
The death of Prof Dora Akunyili is a big loss to this country. Aka Ikenga mourns this lady of substance for among other things, she was a titanic Amazon.
Professor Dora Akunyili, a delegate at the ongoing National Conference and former Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control died at 10:00am in a specialist cancer hospital in India on Saturday. Before her death, she had been battling with cancer for two years.