Posted by News Express | 16 June 2014 | 3,919 times
Former Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. (Mrs.) Dora Nkem Akunyili, impacted on all Nigerians during her lifetime, incumbent Information Minister, Mr. Labaran Maku, has said.
Maku, who was previously a junior minister under Prof. Akunyili, was speaking when he led top officials of the ministry to pay a condolence visit at the late Amazon’s Abuja residence in Maitama.
He noted that Prof. Akunyili, who died on June 7 after a two-year battle with cancer “did her work with such passion.”
Maku described the late Prof. Akunyili as “our colleague and boss” and as “an embodiment of Nigeria.”
He said that it is not how long a person lives that matters but how well. “Some people are like Dora; they come, achieve their mission and go like a comet. It is our conviction that our sister has lived out her mission gloriously. She has impacted on everybody in this country. She is an icon, a model; women aspire to be like her,” he stated.
Comforting Prof. Akunyili’s children, the minister told them to stop grieving but to celebrate their mother, who has been adopted by the entire Nigerian nation as their mother. “This is not your loss,” he told them; “it is Nigeria’s loss.”
Maku said it was because of this that President Goodluck Jonathan took the unprecedented step of convening a special session of the Federal Executive Council in Prof. Akunyili’s honour even though she left the cabinet over three years ago. “This is usually done for those who are (serving) members of the Federal Executive Council,” the minister stated. He promised that the ministry would play an active role in Prof. Akunyili’s burial.
The delegation was received by three of Akunyili’s six children, namely, Njideka, Chidiogo and Obum, as well as some aides and close friends of the late Prof. Akunyili. The children in their responses expressed gratitude for the visit and expressed gratitude for the outpouring of love by Nigerians on the occasion of their mother’s death. They promised to do their best to keep alive her legacy and appealed to all Nigerians to help realise their mother’s wish for Nigeria to become a great and successful nation.
Prof. Akunyili, who would have turned 60 on July 14, 2014, was also a former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), as well as a delegate to the on-going National Conference in Abuja. She is scheduled to be buried on August 28.
•Photo shows late Prof. Akunyili.
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