By Emmanuel Nzomiwu – Enugu
There is anxiety over the state of health of former Information Minister, Professor Dora Akunyili.
Saturday Independent reliably gathered that Akunyili is ill and has been receiving medical attention in faraway United States of America.
She was last seen in public when she accompanied Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, to vote in their hometown, Agulu, during the November 16 governorship election in the state.
Although rumoursof Akunyili’s ill health started before the election, her condition reportedly worsened after.
One of our sources, who saw her before she was flown to the United States, said “she has emancipated and lost so much weight.”
However, details of her illness could not be ascertained as at press time on Friday.
When Saturday Independent contacted her husband, Dr Chike Akunyili, on telephone, he said his wife suffered minor health challenges but that is now okay.
“Yes, she suffered some minor health challenges but she is now okay. She is in the United States. I spoke with her today. What happened was that our son said she should come over and rest. You know all our children are abroad.
She will soon return to the country and we will show up in a public gathering. There is a couple that wants us to sponsor their wedding. Both of us will appear in public. She is now okay,” Dr Akunyili, a medical doctor said.
Akunyili gained national prominence when she served as director general of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), under President Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
While she survived an assassination attempt during her days in NAFDAC, she was rewarded with many national and international awards for distinguishing herself in the war against fake drugs and sub-standard products. However, as minister of information under the administration of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (now late), Prof. Akunyili stirred controversy during the prolonged absence of ailing Yar’Adua when she challenged the cartel holding Nigerians to ransom to tell Nigerians the truth about the President’s health. She tendered her resignation before the death of Yar’Adua.
On assumption of office in 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan re-appointed as a minister but she later resigned to contest Anambra Central Senatorial seat on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), but lost to Senator Chris Ngige of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), now defunct.