Former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has confirmed the death of Professor Dora Akunyili.
In a statement he personally signed and released on Saturday, he said: “On behalf of the Akunyili’s family, I wish to officially confirm the death of Prof. Mrs Dora Akunyili in a Specialist Cancer Hospital in Indian this morning at 10 am, Nigerian Time, after a two-year battle with cancer.
“In spite her illness, she was unwavering in her belief in a better Nigeria. That was why she defied her condition and was part of Anambra State Handover Committee and the National Conference.
“The last time I visited her in India, even when she needed all the prayers herself, she was full of concern for Chibok girls, security and other challenges facing the country and told me that she remained prayerful for the release of those girls and for God to help President Goodluck Jonathan to overcome all the challenges facing the Nation. She therefore urged all Nigerians to remain prayerful and committed to building a better society for our children. We all prayed together and I promised to be visiting her every month.
“We thank all those who remain fervent in prayers for her recovery and urge them to remain prayerful for the peaceful repose of her soul.”
Akunyili and Obi both belonged to the same party — the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) — on which platform she unsuccessfully sought to be senator in 2011.
TheCable earlier reported that the former minister of information had died.
She slipped into coma “in the last few days” and doctors finally gave up on her recovery because she was not making progress.
She died early Saturday morning — a month to her 60th birthday.
A family friend had told TheCable earlier on Saturday: “All hope is lost. Her chances of surviving the next few hours are virtually nil.”
Akunyili had been flown out of the country on May 11 on a medical emergency after her condition worsened.
Since then, rumours were circulating about her death virtually on a daily basis.
Until her death, there was no official confirmation of the ailment, but it was widely believed to be cancer.
The family will issue an official statement Saturday afternoon.