The ex-governor confirmed that the former minister’s health is improving.
The immediate past governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, is presently in India on a visit to the ailing former Minister of Information and Communications, Dora Akunyili, who is receiving treatment in the country.
Mr. Obi travelled to India on Tuesday in company of his media aide, Valentine Obienyem.
A statement by Isaac Umunna, a media aide to Mrs. Akunyili, said the duo confirmed from India that the professor of pharmacy and a delegate to the ongoing National Conference holding in Abuja was responding to treatment and that her situation was not the scary picture as claimed by rumour mongers.
Mrs. Akunyili was flown to India last week for treatment for an ailment which had caused her weight loss.
Mr. Umunna also said that Mrs. Akunyili’s husband, Chike, confirmed to him on phone on Tuesday morning that Messrs. Obi and Obienyem were with them in the hospital.
“We are very happy to see them. We are even happier that they have volunteered to spend the entire day with us before returning home to Nigeria,” Mr. Akunyili was reported as saying.
The statement also quoted Mr. Akunyili as expressing appreciation to Nigerians, saying: “We can never thank Nigerians enough; their prayers are working.”
The statement also showed the e-mail message sent by Mr. Obienyem from India to Mr. Umunna.
“Brother Isaac, I am sending this mail from the hospital where our beloved Prof. Dora Akunyili is being treated. At the moment, her husband, Dr. Chike Akunyili, Mr. Peter Obi and the team of Doctors treating her, are rubbing minds.
“While Doctors at the Indian hospital are explaining what they are doing and how tremendously she has improved; Dr. Chike Akunyili thanked them for their commitment to duty. He also expressed gratitude to Nigerians for the outpouring of love showered on his wife. Mr. Obi emphasised the need for Indians to come and set up facilities in Nigeria and for Nigerian Doctors to also show commitment to expanding the health facilities in Nigeria through strategic investment. Though the Doctors said they come to the country now and then, they agreed on the need to consider what Obi said seriously. They promised to keep communications open.
“Obi thanked God for the tremendous improvement of Prof. Akunyili and said the reality he saw was the direct opposite of the grim picture some people painted about her condition. He prayed to God to grant her total healing.
“In Nigeria, it is common for Nigerians to express secret and sometimes open excitement whenever any highly placed Nigerian suffer. They see it as delayed punishment for the iniquities they foisted on the nation. Prof. Dora Akunyili is different. Since the news of her sickness was broken, the entire nation has been crying and praying for her to be healed. Even on social networks, you see people’s writings dripping with tears for a woman who showed the nation what service in the truest sense of the word means.
“Nigerians as a people suffer from forgetfulness that is inexplicable. We forget people’s deeds so easily. Again, Dora is different. The pervasiveness of her good work ensured that it is etched permanently in the psyches of our people. Who in Nigeria today has forgotten the trauma – attacks upon attacks – that Dora was faced with simply for doing what was best for Nigeria and humanity?
“I understand that since being in the hospital, Nigerians in India have turned the hospital into a Mecca of sort. Daily they visit to pray for her recovery. I understand that the Nigerian Ambassador to India came calling yesterday.
“Meanwhile, Mr. Obi and the team of Doctors are discussing many subjects. Having finished with health, the secret of the development of the health institution and the part the Government is playing, he is busy asking them the secret of the development of Karnataka, the State in India, where Bangalore city/town is located. He wants to know the secret behind the development in infrastructure, education, social services, among others as to compare note with what are witnessed in Nigeria.”