Dora Nkem Akunyili
|Federal Minister of Information & Communication|
17 December 2008 – 15 December 2010
|Preceded by||John Ogar Odey|
|Succeeded by||Labaran Maku|
|Born||14 July 1954|
Makurdi, Benué State
|Died||7 June 2014 (aged 59)|
|Political party||People's Democratic Party (PDP); All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)|
Dora Nkem Akunyili was the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) of Nigeria in 2001.
She became 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.
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. She died in an Indian hospital on 7 June 2014 after a battle with cancer. She had six children and three grandchildren.
Her funeral, which took place on 27 and 28 August, 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.
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 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.
- Integrity Award 2003 – Transparency International.
- "18 women who have helped shape Nigeria since 1960". www.pulse.ng. 2017-10-01. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
- 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.
- "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.
- "zenithbank.com". zenithbank.com. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- "Nafdacnigeria.org". Nafdacnigeria.org. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
-  Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
- Sad news! "Prof. Dora Akunyili has passed on"
- Dr. (Mrs.) Dora Nkem Akunyili
- BBC World Service Special
- BBC Woman's Hour
- Address by Dora Akunyili at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: Washington, D.C: USA: "Women Leadership in Emerging Democracy – My NAFDAC Experience"