Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed regrets at the death of former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, in an Indian hospital weekend.
He described her death as a “passage of one of the jewels” of his administration.
Chief Obasanjo noted that Akunyili’s death “is a great loss to Nigeria”, which needs men and women of high integrity, industry, patriotism and honesty to make it great again.
The ex-president also noted that such virtues enabled the late Akunyili to make a difference in the nation’s Health sector.
According to him, the former minister’s death from cancer in India is “traumatic and a transfiguration of once active and vibrant personality”.
Obasanjo recalled that Akunyili’s courageous and successful crusade against fake drugs saved Nigerians from sundry dangers associated with adulterated drugs and foods.
The former President, who paid tribute to the late amazon in a telephone interview with reporters, added that as Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mrs. Akunyili took the fight against fake drugs round every corner of the globe, preventing the circulation of unwholesome substances that could have proved fatal to unsuspecting Nigerians.
Obasanjo said: “Her death is shocking. She was one of the jewels in the glamour of my administration. I am shocked, because she could not survive the traumatic and transfiguration of a once active and vibrant person.
“Her death has left a vacuum to be filled and the country has to search and motivate such person to achieve the standard she left behind. There are two things involved: One is to search for the person. Men and women of such standing abound.
“Secondly, after the search, we have to tap them, motivate them and ensure that they are well directed. Akunyili was a workaholic member of my administration. I sincerely appreciated her service. Her life made a great change in one specific area – the fake drug. She was there, everywhere, to fight the fake drug war, which could have been fatal if she had not taken the bull by the horn.
“I commiserate with Nigerians, particularly the people of Anambra State, for the loss of this great icon of this country. She threw everything she had to the service of her fatherland. May her soul rest in peace”.