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First Female Commissioner in Northern Nigeria Dies at 90

First female commissioner in Northern Nigeria and the last of the Miller twins, Mrs Dora Maude Akanya has passed on at the age of 90.

Mrs Dora Maude Akanya who died on November 19, 2023, according to her son, Umaru Mawo Akanya, was an astute educationist and a teacher born in Zaria City, on November 8, 1933, to the family of the late Rev. Canon Henry Galtir Darren Miller and Mama Juli Martha Miller.

She and her twin sister, the late Mrs Jummai Jarma were the last of eight children.

Her educational career began at Holy Trinity School in Lokoja – 1943, laying the foundation for future academic pursuits from where she proceeded to Christ Church Cathedral School in Lagos – 1944, CMC Girls College, Lagos – 1945-1950, the United Missionary College, Ibadan – 1951-1952, the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria 1954 – 1956.

To further her academic career, Mrs Akanya also went to the renowned Rolle College of Exеtеr University, United Kingdom in 1963 where she obtained a certificate. To further her quest for education, she proceeded to the Danish Teachers College in Copenhagen, Denmark 1965 – 1966, where she expanded her academic repertoire in 1966.

She attained several credentials, including the Cambridge School Certificate in 1950, a Teachers Grade Two Certificate in 1952, a United Kingdom Teachers Diploma Certificate in 1963, and a Home Economics (Nutrition) Certificate in 1966.

Equipped with these qualifications, she initiated a career that would significantly impact the educational landscape in Nigeria, leaving an enduring mark.

Her professional journey in education began as a class teacher at Holy Trinity School in Kano State in 1953. Over the years, she held diverse roles, including positions at the Anglican Girls School in Kaduna and St. Peter’s Teachers College in Kawo, Kaduna State. Her dedication to education extended to serving as an adult Education Officer in the Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment in Zaria. Dora assumed various impactful leadership roles, acting as the Principal of Government Girls Secondary School in Minna.

In 1967, she was appointed the first female commissioner in the whole of Northern Nigeria, her portfolios were commissioner for Health and Social Welfare, and subsequently as commissioner for trade, industries, and cooperatives all in the then North Central State.

Her significant contributions to primary education in Kaduna included serving as the Principal Education Officer, overseeing Universal Primary Education. Beyond her involvement in education, Dora dedicated herself to various social and community causes. She served as an Assistant Commissioner for the Girls Guide Association in Northern Nigeria, chaired the Nigerian Red Cross Society in the North Central State, and held the position of Vice President for the Internal Council of Social Welfare.

Source: Leadership