Tuesday, 10 June 2014


Yeah, yeah, I know this is 'broken news' (anything like that???).

Its no longer news that our nation has lost one of its rare gems in person of Prof. Dora Akunyili, who passed on after an undisclosed illness in an Indian hospital at the age of 59.

I don't think she needs much introduction so I won't even do a biography of her here. But since the news of her passing broke, there has been some thoughts running through my mind and I share them here.

Before Prof. Dora Akunyili became the Director General of NAFDAC, how many of us knew about that agency???

Since she left NAFDAC, how much do we know of the activities of that agency or how much of an impact has the agency on our lives???

Hands up, if you can name the current DG of NAFDAC, without consulting Google or any other resource!!!

This is not an attempt to castigate any government agent or agency but to draw moral lessons of you and I from the life of this remarkable woman.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

                                                         - Ralph Waldo Emerson

That's exactly what Prof. Akunyili did. She made something out of nothing.

I cannot help wondering how many government agencies are there, agencies set up to impact on the citizens of this country but which are moribund or have become tools for looting the treasury or even offices to 'settle' political stooges.

I remember my NYSC posting to the cultural centre in one of the south western states, upon resumption, I found the place to be as dry as dry can be. Staff idling about without a sense of direction or purpose. Shelves empty and dusty save for a few dusty effigies - a reminder that you are in a cultural centre. The DG on that day, didn't show up until close to the end of the day - typical civil service oga abi? When she did show up what I saw in her helped me to decide I wasn't going to hang around there for 12months wasting away.
I remember that experience now and I wonder if that woman could have done anything at that time to make her agency truly special. A hub of activity for the people of that state.

 I really can't answer that question because I am ashamed to admit that even I dropped the ball when I should have stayed on to make a  difference.

How many times in day do we pass up opportunities to make a difference?

Oh Lord, deliver me from my comfort zones.

Oh Lord, grant unto me the wisdom to understand my calling. Help me to fully comprehend the task before me today.

Give me the courage to step up for you, Lord. Help me to leave a trail where there was once no trail.

As we all say mourn her passing let us pray for grace to live our lives in the remarkable way she lived hers.



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