Nigerians have been expressing great sentiments over the death, today, in India, of the former Nigeria’s minister of information and communications, Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili.
Amongst the prominent people that have expressed great loss in Professor Akunyili is the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who expressed shock over the news of the passing away of the former Minister of Information.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal described the deceased as a patriot whose tenacity and commitment to duty saved millions of Nigerians from untimely deaths due to effect of fake and substandard drugs.
He said her tenure as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) will be remembered as a glorious moment for Nigeria.
The Speaker described Akunyuli as a brilliant pharmacist whose compassion and concerns for the general wellbeing of the people was paramount.
Also, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Works, Senator Ayogu Eze expressed shock and sadness over her death, saying: “the news ranks as possibly one of the saddest pieces of news I’ve heard since the death of my mother last year.”
Eze who represents Enugu North senatorial zone said: “A core professional and one who can easily be ranked as a top Nigerian patriot, she shone on the Nigerian scene like a meteor, leaving her inimitable footprints on the psyche of Nigerians.
“Professor Akunyili brought her unmistakable energy to bear on everything she set her mind to.
“As DG of NAFDAC she left a big shoe that all her predecessors have been struggling to come to terms with.”
Similarly, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State expressed profound shock and sadness over her death, describing it as a serious blow to the nation.
Chime, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Achife, said her death has robbed the nation of one of her finest breed of patriots.
He described the deceased as a towering amazon of excellence whose public service record was as exemplary as it was inspiring in that she epitomized the rare values of integrity, diligence, dedication, courage and selflessness in the various capacities that she served the nation.
Governor Chime noted that even in her last days, Professor Akunyili underscored her undying love for the nation by defying her pains to serve as a delegate to the national conference. [myad]