Dora Akunyili, the late former Director-General of NAFDAC, had a daughter, Chidiogo Akunyili-Parr, who spoke about her mother’s battle with the illness that eventually killed her mother. Chidiogo discussed her mother’s ordeals during her interview with Godfrey George.
You may recall Dora Akunyili, a Nigerian woman who has made a significant contribution to the country’s development. Dora was the Director General of NAFDAC from 2001 to 2008.
Speaking concerning her mother’s battle with cancer, Chidiogo said, “It is one thing to be diagnosed while it is another to hope for the best. We had hoped and trusted that she would get healed. She also had deep trust that she would get healed. Ultimately, that did not happen.”
Narrating further, Chidiogo added, “I think that this whole ‘Juju’ narrative came from the fact that people did try to kill her for so many years and did not achieve their goals. Some people tried to reach her in ways like black magic (Juju), so to say. So, I understand why people would say things like that. There is no truth in that being the cause of her death. My mother’s juju was the Holy Spirit, and her holy water coupled with her pure spirit and clean hands, which I think are stronger than anything out there. She knew that she was protected. She died, not naturally, because cancer is not the natural way of dying. She was unwell; she battled with cancer and finally succumbed to it.”
Chidiogo stated that she learned the importance of doing the right thing, even when nobody sees through her mother. She added that it was easy for Dora to have pocketed a lot of money at NAFDAC, and nobody would ever know. However, her mother did not do such.
Recalling what her mother always told them, Chidiogo said, “she would always say to us: “Even if no one saw it, God sees!”