Inaugural Lecture of Professor Dora Akunyili Memorial By UNN, Onitsha

By Sunny A Ijomah

The University of Nigeria Alumni Association Onitsha Branch has celebrated its Sixtyth founders Day Anniversary and the Inauguration of Professor Dora Akunyili Memorial Lecture with the theme “Drug Counterfeiting and Trafficking as Crime Against Humanity: Agenda for restoring Human Dignity in Food, Drug Administration and Control.

The event which was held at Sharon House GRA also featured an award presentation session.

The one day lecture ended with a call on those at various leadership positions to uphold integrity as their watchword which the late Professor Akunyili stood for in order to make Nigeria great again.

In his opening remark, the Chairman on the occasion and the Vice Chancellor Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka Professor Charles Esimone represented by the Director of Research and Innovation Unizik Professor Ikechukwu Ugochukwu commended the organisers of the event for the theme of the Inaugural Lecture which according to him was apt considering the fact that drugs should be administered properly.

The Vice Chancellor noted that the late Professor Akunyili believes in the santity of life hence the role she played in restoring sanity in safeguarding the society through NAFDAC and called on all stakeholders to help fight crime, drug abuse and it’s misuse in the society.

In her welcome address, the President University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Onitsha branch, Barrister Elizabeth Anyaonu said the objective of this lecture was to celebrate excellence, patriotism, gender equality and also promote progress in order to ensure good governance and sustainable development as well as sustain the fight against counterfeit drugs and unwholesome food with the view to safeguarding the health of Nigerians which were the efforts of the late Professor Akunyili saying that Nigeria needs to immortalize her.

In his paper entitled “The Shadow of My Mentor” the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala who described the late Professor as his mentor enumerated various efforts of the State government to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the State, saying that as the State is in the campaign era, there is need for them to observe the COVID-19 protocol while calling for aggressive fight against drug abuse in the country to accomplish that great value which Professor Akunyili stood for.

The State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment Mr. C-Don Adinuba who described the late Professor Akunyili as the Amazon of Anambra State maintained that she was endowed with integrity and she was able to sanitize the pharmaceutical industry which led to the progress recorded by various companies saying that no society can survive without integrity.

Other guest speakers at the lecture include; Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa who called for leaders that must demonstrate courage, competence, and good character for a transformed Nigeria while Mr. Oseloka Obaze spoke on the need for physicians and pharmacists to teach Nigerians by example even as Chief Ugochukwu Enyioha called for adequate attention to Girl child training