Sunday, 8 June 2014

SAD : Professor Dora Akunyili Dies At 59


Former Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and ex minister of Information, Professor Dora Akunyili, has died according to a family source.  Dr. Akunyili died in an Indian Hospital where she has been receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment. She was aged 59.

After surviving several rumours of her death, Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili, bowed to ovarian cancer early yesterday.

Meanwhile, her death was blamed on misdiagnosis by some doctors in the United States (US). The doctors were said to have claimed she did not have cancer after her Nigerian doctor’s diagnosis to the effect she had the sickness.

News of her death was officially announced by a  former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, on the Anambra Broadcasting Service, ABS. Obi  said  Akunyili  died after a protracted battle with cancer.
Obi, in the statement, said:

 “On behalf of the Akunyili family, I wish to officially confirm the death of Prof. (Mrs.) Dora Nkem Akunyili, OFR, in a Specialist Cancer Hospital in India today at 10 am, Nigerian time, after a two-year battle with cancer. 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 statement continued: “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 and for God to help President Goodluck Jonathan to overcome all the challenges facing the nation.

“She therefore urged all Nigerians to remain prayerful and committed to building a better society for our children. We all prayed together and I promised to be visiting her every month. “We thank all those who remain fervent in prayers for her recovery and urge them to remain prayerful for the peaceful repose of her soul.”

Concern about Akunyili, who had been on admission in hospital for an undisclosed ailment, had made the rounds in recent times.

For several weeks, rumours of her battle with ovarian cancer dominated the social media. Although family sources debunked the stories, the rumours got stronger.

Her public appearance at the National Conference heightened anxiety about her well-being as she looked frail and a shadow of her old self.

Sunday Vanguard findings showed that the former Minister’s ill health first came to the fore a couple of years ago while on a trip abroad. A medical check up showed she had cancer.


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