Akunyili Quits, Dumps PDP!

It was an emotion-laden day yesterday at the briefing room of the Council Chambers when the Minister of Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili, confirmed the rumour that has been in town for about a week now that she was resigning from the federal cabinet effective today, to serve her people at the senatorial level on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Consequently, President Jonathan appointed Minister of State for Information and Communications, Labaran Maku, as the substantive minister of the ministry. Briefing State House correspondents shortly after the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Akunyili said her decision to resign and run for the position was borne out of her desire to serve her people and Nigeria.

Akunyili said she was leaving a more comfortable position to the not so difficult terrain because she wanted to serve her people of Anambra Central Senatorial District. In her valedictory address to the FEC made available to the press, Akunyili said “Mr. President, I am deeply grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to serve our dear country as minister of information and communications. I am equally grateful for the cooperation which you, the vice president, who sees me as his own sister and my cabinet colleagues extended to me in the course of my duties, without which I would not have succeeded”.

In an emotion-ladden voice Akunyili said, “Gentlemen of the press, today is my last briefing to you in my capacity as the minister of information and communication. I am resigning from the cabinet effective tomorrow December 16. I find it a bit difficult to say goodbye because I have been so closely bounded to most of you and my departure is like leaving a family. I am, however, leaving for good and I look forward to working with you in future but maybe in another capacity by the grace of God.

“Having reflected over the years about events in Nigeria and in particular in my state, Anambra State, I have come to the conclusion that it is a defining moment in my life when I should make the sacrifice of leaving a comfortable place to go to a more difficult terrain in order to build a better place for Nigeria.

“I have therefore decided to join my Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, who is doing a great job in Anambra State, in continuing to build that state as an APGA by the grace of God. In this regard, I intend to pick the nomination form today to run for the office of senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District.

“As I take this step, I solicit for your prayers and other forms of support. I am making this request because you are my people and my immediate constituency. I ask for your prayer and unfliching support. I am deeply grateful for your cooperation and partnership without which I wouldn’t have succeeded as minister of information and communications.

“I leave you with fond memories and with great love. I thank you again and I want to happily tell you that my younger brother and friend, Mr. Labaran Maku is now substantive minister of information and communication as announced by Mr. President during council meeting”.

In his remark, Maku said President Goodluck Jonathan accepted Akunyili’s resignation with regrets.
“Council today was an emotional one, as you do know Professor Akunyili has made her mark in the country since her days as the director general of NAFDAC, later DG of Yar’Adua/Jonathan Campaign Organisation and subsequently minister of information and communication in the federal republic.

“Our sister is well known to Nigerians for her doggedness, commitment and indeed her service to our nation. Our prayers are with her in her new service. She is a woman in search of making a mark in her country and we thank you for the support you have given her while she carried out her functions as we wish her successful campaigns.

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