By Azu Akanwa, Online Editor
Dora Akunyili. The effervescent, quintessential amazon, fought drug barons and their couriers to a standstill in Nigeria. She strode where men feared to perch and waged war against fake and adulterated drugs and poisonous food in her erstwhile position as the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC.
Considered to had done well in that position, President Umaru Yarâ€™Adu appointed her to man the eternal controversial office of Minister of Information, a position many thought would reduce her well-deserved reputation and integrity to a mere mouthpiece of an often unpopular voice, the government.
Months into that office and obviously carrying out her new assignment with as much caution as she could, many began to lose hope in their loving falcon, seeing her moreÂ as having â€œjoined them.â€
But trust Dora, she would not stomach the intrigues and nauseating white lies of officialdom for long. The state of the Presidentâ€™s health and a man-made cloud over what is the truth, provided Akunyili the much-needed opportunity to replant herself in the hearth of many Nigerians.
Not satisfied with the porridge of misinformation and oftentimes lack of information concerning the presidentâ€™s health situation and worried by the attitude of some officials in the Presidency and that of her colleagues in the Federal Executive Council, Akunyili threw a bombshell.
In a memo to her colleagues at the FEC meeting, Akunyili called on her boss, President Yarâ€™Adua to step aside and hand over to his Vice, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, pending the time he would fully recover. In an exclusive interview with three selected media houses (Vanguard inclusive), Akunyili lamented that she was fed up with the tissues of lies beclouding the presidentâ€™s health and the state of the nation, hence her decision to speak out.
Ever since her action, many Nigerians have heaved a sigh of relief that Akunyili has not lost it all afterall. However, some others, including powerful groups in the North, such as the Northern caucus in the House of Representatives, have openly asked Akunyili to resign, having according to them, gone beyond her boundary as a senior public officer.
Your best Online Newspaper in Nigeria, Vanguard conducted an Online Opinion Poll on, â€œShould Dora Akunyili resign from the Executive Council?â€
Out of a total 3,458 respondents, Thursday March 11; 17.00PM, 2,813 respondents, representing 81.35% voted for a continued stay of the Information Minister in the Federal Executive Council, while 645 respondents, representing 18.65% asked the Minister to resign. The poll which began on Friday March 5, 2010 is one in the series of public interest opinion polls conducted by Vanguard.
Join the voters today in our new Poll: â€œShould the Army be blamed for the recent killings in Josâ€? Log on to www.vanguardngr.com.