Dora Akunyili's Last Wish – Husband
Dr Akunyili, husband of the late former Director General, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dora Akunyili, has said his wife's last wish before her death was for the safe return of the over 200 Chibok girls.
Dora and husband, Dr Chike Akunyili
Dr. Chike Akunyili, who spoke in Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, while briefing reporters ahead of her burial on August 28, said Dora did not give up praying for the release of the schoolgirls, who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in Borno State on April 14, as she wished she could bring the girls back home on her own.
The former Information Minister died on June 7, 2014.
He also said his wife remained, till her last second, passionate about the unity of Nigeria.
"My wife said she would serve Nigeria with the last drop of her blood”, he said.
Dora Akunyili who has been praised for her positive impact in Nigeria with over 800 awards both locally and internationally, despite her battle with sickness did not let that stop her from participating in the on-going National conference in Abuja where until her death was a delegate representing Anambra.
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Meanwhile, Dr Akunyili said contrary to the report that Dora died of Cervical Cancer stated that she died of Endometrial Carcinoma.
Dr. Akunyili said that Endometrial Carcinoma is a rare cancer that is not usually detected early until it has eaten deep into the system.
He further disclosed that Dora would be given a posthumous award in the United States of America on November 18, 2014, based on her outstanding work in her field of work as a pharmacist.
Commenting on how life has been since after Dora’s death, Dr. Akunyili said: “Though she is dead, I know her spirit is with us because since her death, anything I want for her burial simply comes easy. Dora is a very intelligent person. If I start describing her worth, we won’t leave here today. She electrifies the house whenever she is in the house. She doesn’t discriminate between the rich and the poor. She has a formidable memory. When she is in the house, you won’t even know that she is a Professor because she will cook, clean and serve my food, holding water for me to wash my hands.”
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Dr Akunyili said that the burial activities for Dora would begin on August 22, 2014, with a wake-keep in Enugu, to be followed by a night of tributes at the International Conference Center, Abuja, on August 25, while the burial would be on August 28 after a Funeral Mass at the Madonna Catholic Church, Agulu.
Speaking at the press conference, the last child of Akunyili, Obumneme, a Psychology graduate, said that it was a bitter taste for anybody to lose any of the parents. He said they had been consoled by the fact that his late mother was not only a mother at home but also for the nation at large.
“I will miss her greatly,” Obumneme said. “Her death has created a vacuum no one can ever fill.”