By DIANA OMUEZA
Abuja- Project One, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has unveiled plan to honour late Dr Dora Akunyili, a former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Mrs Bisayo Busari-Akinnadeju, the Executive Director of the group, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday that late Akunyili would conferred with “Difference Maker” Award.
Busari-Akinnadeju said that the late Akunyili, though long gone, her name still echoed in Nigeria and among Nigerians as a woman who made a difference during her life time.
She described the late Akunyili as an extraordinary Nigerian public servant who strived to strengthen the nation by tackling fake and substandard drugs, bringing to end the spate of death from fake drugs.
“As a tradition, Project One is an organisation that understands the culture of honour.
“In the past, we have honoured the five writers of the national anthem, the designer of the Nigerian flag and various Nigerians that have performed excellently in their given endeavors.
“In line with the theme of our annual #IAMANIGERIAN Conference, we will be honouring late Dr Dora Akunyili, a former Director- General of NAFDAC.
“The late Dora Akunyili stands out to us for many reasons, one of which is how she is a perfect model of patriotism and integrity which are core values of our organization,” she said.
She said that the “Difference Maker Award” was personal to her and was first of its kind by the group and the late Akunyili was most worthy of it, having lived a life that made great impact and difference.
Busari-Akinnadeju added that Akunyili’s influence would forever be felt because she made a difference in her field as a Nigerian public servant and she had an international reputation for integrity whose impact is still speaking in NAFDAC.
“Late Dora Akunyili was also a patriotic Nigeria, she loved Nigeria till death. She constantly looked for ways to make Nigeria better, especially in her sector.
“Her live was a story of one voice can be heard loudly all over the world. Late Dora resolve to tackle fake drugs which made her an enemy of many people.
“She was threatened, her loved ones threatened, she had her family member kidnapped but not once did this deter her from doing her duties.
“She was seen on the street of Onitsha, Kano and other states campaigning, arresting fake drug dealers, and confiscating and destroying large quantities of fake drugs.
“Like a mother, she continually travailed to bring an end to fake drugs in Nigeria.
“We want more people like Dora Akunyili to pick up a sector, rebrand, revive, restore and uphold it to ensure legacy’s as Akunyili lives forever,” she said.
She disclosed that the group had reached out to Akunyili’s family and NAFDAC where she once worked and it had received assurance that one of Akunyili’s children would be at the 2022 IAMANIGERIAN conference to receive the award along with staff of the agency.
She said that the award would be presented at the flag-off of the 2022 IAMANIGERIAN Conference beginning May 25 in Abuja, themed “Strengthening the Foundation of our Nation”.
Busari-Akinnadeju urged well meaning Nigerians not to relent in strengthening the nation regardless of its numerous opposing factors, adding that one voice, could change Nigeria for its betterment.(NAN)