On Heralds this week is……..
She is one of the most notable women Nigeria has ever had more particularly because of her contributions to the health sector of Nigeria. Dora Nkem Akunyili was born on the 14th July 1954 in Markudi Benue state but grew up in her state of origin Anambra state, Nigeria. She was an excellent student and this was clearly displayed in her performance at school. She had her first degree in pharmacy in 1978 on a scholarship basis from the Eastern Nigerian Government Post Primary Scholarship and the Federal Government of Nigeria Undergraduate Scholarship. This first degree was obtained from the famous University of Nigeria Nsuka where she later obtained her PhD in 1985. Professor Dora as she later rose to become was a very disciplined and focused woman. She started her career as a pharmacist from 1978 to 1981, in the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, after which she ventured into academics as a Graduate Assistant (Research Fellow) in Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UNN from 1982 to 1986. While there she did tremendously well as she rose through the ladder of her career until she became a senior lecturer in 1990 and subsequently transferred to the to College of Medicine, UNN in 1992, where she was made a Consultant Pharmacologist in 1996, a position she held until 12 April 2001. Dora was a very honest woman who not only worked in the academia but also worked in the governing sector of her country. She was a Zonal Secretary of Petroleum Special Trust Fund (PTF), co-ordinating all projects in the five south-eastern states of Nigeria (Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States) for four years, She also served as a Supervisor for Agriculture and Member of the Caretaker Committee for her Local Government, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State from 1994 to 1996. Akunyili served as a member of State’s Hospitals Management Board and State Advisory Council for Women Commission both in Anambra State of Nigeria from From 1992 to 1994.
She obviously was well groomed with leadership activity before her appointment as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria from April 2001-2008. Before her assumption of office all manner of adulterated, fake and substandard food and drugs were injected into Nigeria resulting in over 60 percent of fake drugs in circulation. But in the course of her tenure she brought in a new culture of excellence and honesty to NAFDAC and the entire Nigerian public service hence reducing the level of fake and counterfeit drugs in circulation to 16.7 percent with vast improvement in the food and other regulated sectors. She also served as minister of information from 2008 to 2010 where she also made impart in her own unique way. Before her death she ran for election as Senator for Anambra Central for the APGA in April 2011 but was defeated by Chris Ngige of the ACN . She immediately sent a petition to the Independent National Electoral Commission disputing the result. Akunyili died in an Indian hospital on 7 June 2014 of cancer. Dora had won so many international and local awards before her death. Dora was married to Dr Chike Akunyili and their marriage was blessed with six children who are doing so well in their various fields..
Forever Nigeria and the world at large can not forget professor Dora Akunyili so quickly because she was a practical example of discipline,honesty and focus. She fought and stood for what was right without any form of religious, or tribal sentiments. She risked her own life to ensure the right thing was done and to a great extent she was a success. So in simple terms our lessons are questions,
¶ What will you be remembered for?
¶ What will you exchange for doing the right thing?
¶ What do you think will stop you from standing for the truth?
Learn from Professor Dora akunyili’s life today and be the change your world is waiting for.
Its being Heralds with Julius O. Akubo on Treasure network. catch you next week.
Don’t forget to download, read and share the just released Treasure Magazine volume 7.
Wishing you a blessed week..