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Dora Nkem Akunyili (1954-2014): A principled anti-corruption warrior

This paper argues that corruption remains one of the major social evils plaguing the Nigerian nation. The country faces also a range of other socio-economic and infrastructure problems which citizens complain about almost daily. However, the vice of corruption reigns supreme, jeopardising the very foundations of the state. Some ethicists argue that corruption has manifested itself as a universal phenomenon, one which stifles the economy and impedes Nigeria’s progress towards attainment of the Millennium Developmental Goals, let alone the present Millennium Sustainable Goals. Nigeria’s anti-corruption bodies seem incapable of stopping what many have described as the “Nigerian factor” or the “Nigerian way”. This article submits that, notwithstanding this depressing state of affairs, there is a glimmer of hope that public trust is redeemable, especially when having regard to the ethical values that marked the public life of Dora Nkem Akunyili, the erstwhile Nigerian academic and civil servant.

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