All through her career from school days up till the professional level, there have been traces of exceptional leadership characters, many of which were eventually seen by a larger population of Nigerians when she became the DG of NAFDAC in April 2001. For Dora Akuyili, everything she found herself doing was more than the ROLE, but about the GOAL to achieve.
She was Nigeria’s Honourable Minister of Information and Communications until December 16, 2010, when she resigned to further actualise her ambition of becoming the Senator representing Anambra Central in the National Assembly. She is an internationally renowned Pharmacist, Pharmacologist, Erudite Scholar, Seasoned Administrator, and a visionary leader. She has gained international recognition and won hundreds of awards for her work in pharmacology, public health and human rights.
The late DG of NAFDAC did everything within her capacity for the good of Nigeria without strings attached. Before she became the Minister of Information and Communication, the world had a very negative perception of Nigeria. This poor image was dumbed upon Nigeria by the international community and further affirmed by the bad behaviour of our conventional politicians, political clergymen and clerics both within and outside the country. This disheartening perception about Nigeria had gone unchallenged for so long that it is beginning to stick in the consciousness of most people around the world that most Nigerians are criminals or fraudsters, yet no one could do anything to redeem the situation.
For this, when she became Minister in 2008, she lamented: “…At airports and other public places across the globe, whenever the green passport is sighted, we were asked to stand aside for special screening. We are not even given the benefit of the doubt. In the highly competitive world in which we live, Nigeria will have no choice than to present a compelling and coherent image to the world if she wants to be taken seriously.”
Thus, on March 17, 2009, she joined President Goodluck Jonathan to launch a national campaign and unveiling of the slogan and logo in Abuja. According to her, “this campaign is beyond logo and slogan which are meant to serve as drivers. Thus, our hope is that the slogan, Nigeria - Good People, Great Nation, will help to inspire patriotism in us all as we collectively tackle the challenges ahead.”
At this juncture, the ACLN can boldly describe Dora Akuyili as an outstanding Nigerian whose records of excellent public service will for long be remembered as against our current stomach infrastructure public office holders, whose entire public work has little credit for the good of the general public. Akuyili was never hunted by anti-graft agencies, neither was she accused by any segment of the country for being politically, religiously or even tribally biased. Her duties targeted the general wellness of Nigerians. She neither led a flambouyantly lifestyle nor found rendering eye service. For Akuyili, it was always Nigeria first.
Her virtues as a leader are worthy of emulation for every public office holder in Nigeria, Africa and the entire world. In some other parts of the world, People like her are put on stamps and on statues at different public places where the younger generations who were either too young to see her good works or the generation yet unborn as at that time, can visit to be encouraged to lead selfless lifestyles. She saved lives and she instituted a system that is still saving lives. Akuyili is a leader per excellence.
On this day, June 7, the ACLN admonish young Nigerians to follow in the part of Akuyili for the high sense of responsibility and how she helped to save the lives of Nigerians fighting killer diseases like malaria and tuberculosis with little more than sugar syrup and chalk tablets, cynically packaged to look like the real thing. Dora Akuyili, we believe in the Nigeria you foresaw and will continue to hoist the flag of Nigeria in a positive light across the globe because we believe in selfless leaders like you. Live On Akuyili!