Remembering Dora Akunyili: 5 Years After Dora Speaks From The Grave

“Corruption isn’t just about giving or taking money, corruption is not doing the right thing”.

Late Dr. Dora Nkem Akunyili who died today 5 years ago after losing battle to cancer spoke on citizenship, corruption and hope for Nigeria. In 1978, she obtained her first degree in Pharmacology & a PhD in 1985 from University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

In 1988 Dora came to the forefront of the fight against drug counterfeiters in Nigeria after losing her sister Vivian to death following use of fake insulin injection. In 2001, she was appointed Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). As NAFDAC boss, Akunyili declared war on fake drugs at a desperate era when 60% of drugs in Nigeria were believed to be fake and lives being lost due to use of fake drugs. Her commitment, dedication and perseverance brought sanity to the sector with a 90% decline in the fake drug market. Her life was threatened with assassination attempts but the “irony lady” stayed focused in her determination to remove fake drugs from Nigeria. She served as Nigeria’s Minister of Information & Communications from 2008 to 2010.

Born on 14 July 1954 in Makurdi, Benue State, Dora Nkem Akunyili died on 7 June 2014 in India at age 59 from uterine cancer and was laid to rest at Agulu Anambra State. Nigeria.

Women Radio 91.7 remembers a remarkable woman of intergrity, a passionate and proudly Nigerian with a strong voice who fought for a corrupt free Nigeria. May her soul continue to rest peacefully in the Lord.

Dora Nkem Akunyili received over 900 Awards, honours and laurels locally and internationally in recognition of her commitment and work in pharmacology, publich health and human rights including:

Minister of the Year 2010″ by Nigeria Royalty Award.

Harmony Tribute Award, Planet Africa Television Canada, 2010

Time Magazine Award (“One of the eighteen heroes of our time”) Time Magazine Inc, 2006

Honorary Georgia Citizen by The State of Georgia, USA, 2006.

Person of the Year Award, Silverbird Communications Ltd, 2005

Award of Excellence, Integrated World Services (IWS), 2005

Award of Excellence, Advocacy for Democracy Dividends International, Lagos, 2005

The Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) of Nigeria

The African Virtuous and Entrepreneurial Women Merit Award, African Biographical Network, 2005

Women Achievers Award Women’s Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), Lagos State Chapter, 2005

Meritorious Award 2005 – St. Michael’s Military Catholic Church, 2005.

Award for the Best Government Parastatal, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), 2005.

An Icon of Excellence Award , The African Cultural Institute and Zenith Bank Plc, 2005.

Grassroots Human Rights Campaigner Award, London-based Human Rights Defense Organization, 2005;

Most Innovative Director Award, Federal Government College, Lagos, 2005.

Integrity Award, Transparency International 2003

Distinguished Award as a Role Model of Nigerian Society Ahmadu Bello University Students’ Union Government (ABUSUG), Zaria, Nigeria.

The International Service Human Rights Award, House of Commons, London.

Nigeria’s Five Greatest Living Legends Award, Silverbird Group and Vanguard Media.

Nigerian Woman of Distinction, Nigeria @ 50 Independence Anniversary Celebration.

Special Award for Combating Economic Crime, International Chamber of Commerce, Commercial Crime Services London.

Amazon of Integrity, National Council of Women Society.

Pharmacist of the Year Medal Award, International Pharmaceutical Federation FIP.

Honourary Degree of Doctor of Laws, University of Bristol, London

Agribusiness, International Euro Market Award, by European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC), Brussels.

Transbusiness Awards, by European Marketing Research Centre (EMRC), Brussels.

Elected Honourary Member of The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Of Great Britain, London, by The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Of Great Britain, London.

Sources in alphabetical order:

Abike Abayomi (Women Radio 91.7)


Inemesit Udodiog


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