By VINCENT UJUMADU
FORMER Minister of Information and Communications and senatorial candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, for Anambra Central in the April 2011 election, Professor Dora Akunyili, has said that fake drug dealers who are allegedly threatening to deny her their votes during the forthcoming election for her role as the Director-General of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, were wasting their time.
Since picking the ticket of APGA for the zone, comprising Anaocha, Dunukofia, Njikoka, Awka North, Awka South, Idemili North and Idemili South local government areas, some of the drug dealers in the commercial town of Onitsha, who reside in the senatorial distrcit, had been bragging that they would use the election as a pay back time for Akunyili who, they alleged, put many of them out of business in her quest to sanitize the nation’s drug market.
But the former NAFDAC boss said in an interview in Awka at the weekend that she did not owe any apology to anybody for what she did as the director-general of NAFDAC, adding that if she had another opportunity, she would even do more, provided it was in the best interest of the nation.
She said: “Those people that I stepped on their toes are criminals and criminals have no power as long as one is doing the right thing. If they had the kind of power they claim, I will not be alive today.
“Sometimes, people ask what of the votes? My response is, I don’t want the vote of a killer. I don’t even need 100 per cent votes to win the election.
“Even at that, the drug counterfeiters know that I did the right thing and some of them that changed from being murderers to being normal human beings appreciated our work. Those of them that have refused to change are too insignificant for me to worry about. I only worry about their remaining in the business and killing our people, not because of the votes I will get from them.
“If I need to change my stand so as to win, then let me not win. I want to say that I want to win, but it is not a must that I must win. It is this I must win attitude that causes election rigging, electoral malpractice and all kinds of vices.
“I want other politicians to embrace that culture of ‘I want to win and not that of I must win’. If it is the will of God and the wish of my people, I will win. Anybody can win, but I want to win so that I can serve my people and give them the kind of representation they have never had before.”
“Some people in the fake drug business felt that because I am Igbo like them, I should overlook certain things. If you are a regulator and you don’t close your eyes to relationships, regulation will collapse.”
Akunyili said further that her near -fanatical attitude on issues concerning Nigeria was due to the fact that the country has given her so much, adding that she would never get tired of serving her.
According to the APGA candidate, her parents never paid school fees throughout her educational career as she was on scholarship from the secondary school to the university, adding “because Nigeria has pampered me so much, I should continue to serve her with all my heart.”
She also said that unlike the belief in some quarters, she started politics at the lowest level, having been a supervisory councilor in her local government area between 1994 and 1996 and later became the coordinator of Better Life for Rural Women before working as the South East zonal coordinator for the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF,.
Akunyili agreed that politics in Nigeria is murky, but argued that that was what some criminals had used in the past to scare good people from venturing into politics.
“Good people should go into that murky water of politics to salvage the situation. I have decided to go there and Nigerians will see what will happen if God decides and if it is the wish of my people,” she said.