This past weekend was one Nigerian’s will not forget in a hurry as we lost an illustrious leader, Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili. She was one of the few leaders we had in this country who actually made an impact in their work and preached “Nigeria first” in all she did.
Prof. DNA (as she was fondly called) was a force to reckon with and a role model to a lot of young women who want to make an impact in their society and country. She exuded a lot of passion in her job and country and this she did at a time when people felt the need to keep quiet and keep living rather than fight for the truth. She championed the eradication of sale and distribution of counterfeit drugs in the Nigerian market, which coincidentally originated from her own state, Anambra. A testament of her incredible leadership was her ability to wade through the general “Nigerian” expectation for tribal deference. When she was named the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), many people imagined it was business as usual with fake drugs running rampant and most of those ‘murderers’ must have been happy that their ‘sister’ would shelter them from true justice. Little did they know that this ‘sister’ would not condone illicit acts which affected Nigerian lives daily. She had already lost a sister to fake drugs and was not going to sit down and watch it continue.
Born July 1954 in Makurdi, Benue State, her work was recognized by top governments and organizations across the world. She was nominated for the “Heroes of our Time” award by Time magazine in New York and received the International Service Human Rights award from the House of Commons London. Her reign as the former NAFDAC DG and former Minister of Information and Communication gained her international recognition and awards for her work in pharmacology, public health and human rights.
During her reign as the Minister of Information and Communication, she supported the Homevida dream and platform and gave us total support by encouraging and ensuring that other government organizations saw and felt our vision.
Her fight for a better Nigeria…..
Her fight for a safe Nigeria………
Her fight for access to good and efficient healthcare in Nigeria………
And her fight for a great Nigeria will never be forgotten.
Rest in peace, Prof DNA