" ITREALMS: Prof. Akunyili bows to cancer at last, RIP!

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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Prof. Akunyili bows to cancer at last, RIP!

The Immediate past Minister of Information & Communications, Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili, died this morning in Bangalore, Karnataka, India, losing a two-year battle against cancer. The sad event took place about 10am Nigerian time (3pm Indian time) four weeks after Prof. Akunyili was flown to India for further treatment on Sunday, May 11, 2014, having initially been treated in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

Late Professor Akunyili, it was gathered, died peacefully, surrounded by her husband, Dr. Chike Akunyili, and her brother, Dr. Francis Anayo Edemobi, both of whom travelled to India with her on May 11 and remained by her side until she drew her last breath.

Born on July 14, 1954, Prof. Akunyili would have turned 60 next month. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Chike Akunyili, her siblings, her children, grandchildren and a host of relatives.  

Popularly known as The Amazon, Prof. Dora Akunyili was a first class patriot who deeply loved Nigeria and served the country with all she had, irrespective of whatever risks was involved in doing so. 

She demonstrated this in all her assignments – from the classroom at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), to the Presidential (Special) Task Force (PTF), National Agency for Food & Drug Administration & Control (NAFDAC), Ministry of Information & Communications, Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, and the on-going National Conference in Abuja, of which she was a member until her death.

Below is the official statement of her death as issued on behalf of her family by immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, CON:

“On behalf of the Akunyili's family, I wish to officially confirm the death of Prof. (Mrs.) Dora Nkem Akunyili, OFR, in a Specialist Cancer Hospital in India this morning 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 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.”

Outside headline and pix/Courtesy News Express
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•Pix late Prof. Dora Akunyili.

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