[L-R] Prof. Dora Akunyili and Hon. Uche Ekwunife
A Chairman of House Committee on Environment, Hon. Uche Ekwunife, rekindled the memory of former Minister of Information and Communication, Prof. Dora Akunyili, who died last month.
In a motion that was unanimously endorsed, the All Progressives Grand Alliance lawmaker, described Akunyili, as a patriot, who gave her all to the nation and humanity and called for her immortalisation.
Hon. Uche Ekwunife prayed the chamber to observe “a minute silence in honour of the late Prof. Akunyili.”
Apart from that, she requested the chamber to “send a delegation to represent the House at her funeral.” She urged the executive arm of government to name the headquarters of NAFDAC as “PROF. DORA NKEM AKUNYILI HOUSE” in her honour.
The motion read:
“The House notes that the late Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili transited to glory on June 7, 2014 after a battle with cancer.
“Prof. Akunyili, an internationally renowned pharmacist, pharmacologist, erudite scholar, administrator and Visionary leader, was the zonal secretary of the defunct Petroleum Special Trust Fund (PTF) between 1997 and 2000 where she coordinated all projects in the South Eastern states;
“Prof. Akunyili was recommended to the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was looking for an honest Nigerian to steer the affairs of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), at a time Nigeria was plagued by the menace of adulterated, fake and substandard drugs and unwholesome food products.”
“The uncommon zeal, drive and determination which Prof. Akunyili brought to NAFDAC as its Director-General between 2001 and 2008, which transformed the agency almost overnight from anonymity to unarguably the most recognisable government agency, and in the process, earned worldwide acclaim for both the agency and the country in the fight against fake drugs and unwholesome food products.”
“Prof. Akunyili waged the war against fake drugs relentlessly and at a great threat to her life, while allowing her patriotic spirit to come to the fore despite people from her South East geo-political zone being key players in the importation and distribution of the fake drugs and unwholesome food products.”
“In deference to her strength of character and sterling contributions in the fight to rid the country of fake drugs, governments and organisations across the world recognised her feats and showered her with encomiums, accolades and honours, which in the process, rubbed off positively on the nation by putting Nigeria on the limelight of global attention any time she went to receive any of the numerous awards in pharmacology, public health and human rights.”