Dora Akunyili

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Dora Nkem Akunyili
Federal Minister of Information & Communication
In office
17 December 2008 – 15 December 2010
Preceded byJohn Ogar Odey
Succeeded byLabaran Maku
Personal details
Born(1954-07-14)July 14, 1954
Makurdi, Benue State
Died7 June 2014(2014-06-07) (aged 59)
Political partyAll Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA); People's Democratic Party (PDP)
EducationUniversity of Nigeria, Nsukka (B.Pharm, 1978); University of Nigeria, Nsukka (PhD, 1985)

Dora Nkem Akunyili (July 1954 - 2014) was the Director-General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) of Nigeria from 2001 to 2008.[1]


Dora Akunyili was born in Markurdi, Benue State to Chief and Mrs. Paul Young Edemobi. She had her West African School Certificate Examination (WASC) in Queen of Rosary Secondary School, Enugu state, where she graduated with Grade I Distinction[2]. she won the Eastern Nigerian Government Post Primary Scholarship and the Federal Government of Nigeria Undergraduate Scholarship[3]. She had six children and three grandchildren.

After the death of Vivian her sister, who died after taking fake insulin injection in 1988. Dora came at the forefront of the fight against drug counterfeiters[2].

She was the Nigerian Minister of Information and Communications from 2008 to 2010. She was a pharmacist and governmental administrator who gained international recognition. She won several awards for her work in pharmacology, public health and human rights.[4]

Akunyili 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.[5] She died in an Indian hospital on 7 June 2014 after a battle with uterine cancer.

Her funeral took place on 27 and 28 August, and was attended by many dignitaries from within Nigeria and beyond, including President Goodluck Jonathan (2010 to 2015), the then Nigerian President and a former Nigerian military ruler General Yakubu Gowon.

Akunyili was laid to rest at Agulu in Anambra state.[6]


Dora Nkem Akunyili is a Nigeria woman with over 900 awards. [7]Some of the awards Prof. Akunyili received in her lifetime were:

  • Time Magazine Award 2006 ("One of the eighteen heroes of our time"), Time Magazine Inc.
  • Person of the Year 2005 Award – Silverbird Communications Ltd, Lagos, 5 January. 2006
  • Award of Excellence – Integrated World Services (IWS), December 2005
  • Award of Excellence – Advocacy for Democracy Dividends International, Lagos, 17 December, 2005
  • Meritorious Award 2005 – St. Michael's Military Catholic Church, Apapa, Lagos, 4 December, 2005
  • African Virtuous and Entrepreneurial Women Merit Award 2005 – African Biographical Network, December, 2005
  • Award for the Best Government Parastatal – National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), December, 2005
  • An Icon of Excellence Award – The African Cultural Institute and Zenith Bank Plc,[8] 8 December 2005
  • 2005 Grassroots Human Rights Campaigner Award London-based Human Rights Defense Organization, 8 December. 2005
  • Most Innovative Director Award Federal Government College, Ijanikin, Lagos, October, 2005.[9]
  • Integrity Award 2003 – Transparency International.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "18 women who have helped shape Nigeria since 1960". 1 October 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Dora Akunyili: The Drug Lioness". 15 August 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Dora Akunyili: The Drug Lioness". 15 August 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Prominent Nigerians". Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  5. ^ Onu, Nwanosike (28 April 2011). "How Ngige floored Akunyili in Anambra Central". The Nation. Archived from the original on 2 May 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Prof Akunyili's final journey home: Day Agulu people, other Nigerians were united in grief". The Sun. 3 September 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Everything you need to know about Dora Akunyili, the 'iron lady' with almost 1000 awards". 11 March 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  8. ^ "". 31 December 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  9. ^ "". Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  10. ^ [1] Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

"Dora Akunyili Dead From Cancer At Age 59"