The non-teaching staff unions of the University of Ilorin, under the aegis of Joint Action Congress (JAC), have commended the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, for acceding to most of the requests recently presented before him by the Congress.

The Chairman of the University Chapter of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Mr. Muhammed J. Akanbi, who is also the Chairman of the institution's Joint Action Congress, gave this commendation while addressing members of the Congress last Monday, (July, 9, 2018).

  Mr. Akanbi appreciated the Vice-Chancellor for approving the payment of salary arrears and promotion of the recently reinstated staff members of the University School.

The JAC Chairman also disclosed that the Vice-Chairman has also granted approval to members of the University Community who commute themselves with motorcycles to bring in their bikes as soon as the union fulfills its part of the bargain.

According to Mr. Akanbi, "The motorcycle riders have been allowed to ride in their motorcycle into the campus and a space has been created for them to park with full security. The motorcycle riders cannot be discriminated against because that is what they can afford".

The JAC Chairman, however, appealed to the Vice-Chancellor to look into the issue of pension deductions from staff salaries immediately, alleging that there is an ongoing over-deduction of  0.5 percent.

While briefing the Congress on the outcome of the last nationwide strike by the non-teaching staff unions, Mr. Akanbi noted that the Federal Government promised to pay the outstanding arrears within five weeks before the strike was suspended and more than three months after the promise was made, the government has refused to make good its promise.

The union leader attributed the attitude of government officials to the fact that most of them do not enroll their children in Nigerian universities.

He, however, said that the unions have resolved not to embark on another strike in the interest of the system, adding that they have decided to henceforth make use of the print and electronic media to sensitise the public on the conundrum at hand and also organise indefinite sit-out protests in Abuja.

The Senate of the University of Ilorin last Thursday (July 12, 2018) elected Prof. (Mrs.) Sylvia Omonirume Malomo of the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences, and Prof. Mikhail Olayinka Buhari of the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, new Deputy Vice-Chancellors of the institution.

While Prof. Malomo became the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Buhari was made Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology and Innovations).

This followed the expiration of the tenure of Prof. N. Y. S. Ijaiya and Prof. Gabriel Olatunji, Deputy Vice-Chancellors (Academic and Research, Technology and Innovations) respectively, whose tenures will soon  expire. 

Profs Ijaiya and Olatunji, who were first elected Deputy Vice-Chancellors on July 1, 2014, served two terms of two years each on the position.

The election of the new Deputy Vice-Chancellors, which was a major highlight of the 271st (Special) Meeting of the University Senate, is based on the University's Miscellaneous Provision of Decree No. 25 of 1996. Both appointments, which are for a period of two years, are, however, subject to the ratification of the University Governing Council.

Also, a new Provost has been elected for the College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin. He is Prof. Olanrewaju Timothy Adedoyin of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health. Prof. Adedoyin, who is the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, takes over from Prof. Wahab B. Rotimi Johnson whose four-year tenure ends on July 31, 2018.

The DVC-designate (Academic), Prof. Malomo, was born on April 7, 1957. She obtained the Bachelor of Science degree, Masters and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Ibadan between 1979 and 1985. 

Prof. Malomo was the first female Dean of the old Faculty of Science, University of Ilorin, before the Faculty was split into the Faculties of Physical Sciences and Life Sciences. Until her new appointment, she was the Chairman of the University's Computer-Based Tests (CBT) Committee.

The new DVC (RTI), Prof. Buhari, was born on March 14, 1969. The Consultant Pathologist/Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, obtained the MBBS from the University of Ilorin in 1991 and became a Fellow of the West African College of Physician in 2002, the same year he joined the services of the University of Ilorin as Lecturer 1 in the Department of Pathology.

Prof. Buhari, who rose to the Professorial rank in 2012, was Ag. Chief Medical Director, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, between March 18 and June 19, 2018.

The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Gozie Anwukah, has called for collective efforts in promoting education and making it serve its purpose of reformation of character and society, saying this is the only way we can rescue Nigeria from her current challenges.

Prof. Anwukah, who made this submission last Friday (July 13, 2018) while delivering a keynote address at the University of Ilorin, Faculty of Education Annual Ilorin Roundtable, pointed out that education is useless if it does not make people better citizens. 

Speaking on the theme “Education, Security and Sustainable Development in Nigeria”, the Minister said, “The task of making education useful and functional does not lie with the Government alone. The civil servants, the artisans, churches, parents, the teachers, the mosques, the media and the larger society all have roles to play”.    

Prof. Anwukah said it is only then that the country is able to achieve a progressive and peaceful society where everyone knows his role and performs it well.

Explaining that “balanced education is an all-embracing model of education that equips a learner with spiritual, material, moral, physical, emotional and intellectual knowledge”, the Minister said that “it is an education that combines qualitative education mainly provided at home with the quantitative one that is offered at the school, with a view to achieving a truly balanced personality”.

In the well-attended lecture, Prof. Anwukah noted that “the murderous campaigns that engender farmer-herder combustible relations, Boko Haram carnage, hyperactive militancy and daredevil savagery are all the result of a failure in the quantity and quality of education in the country”.

Earlier in his opening address, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, submitted that a functional education is a prerequisite for the production of cultured and responsible citizenry, adding that the kind that would put national or communal wellbeing above personal interest is the most desirable.

According to Prof. Abdulkareem, “the belief of educationists over the years is that availability of functional literacy/education is a pre-condition for raising individuals who are law-abiding, obedient to constituted authorities, morally upright and easy to govern”.

The Vice-Chancellor advised that research funding must be given due consideration by the government to enable academics to proffer practical solutions to a myriad of problems confronting the nation today.

He said, “In the same token, funding of universities should be improved as a way of dissuading universities from admitting candidates with questionable characters all in the name of generating additional internal revenue to enable them to meet the ever-increasing running cost beyond what the monthly subvention from the government could address.”

Prof. Abdulkareem called on the government to support education policy implementers such as the University of Ilorin in the fight against corruption and other social vices via legislation or enactments that would criminalize cultism, rape, sexual harassment, bullying, graft, extortion among others within the university.

The Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof. Noah Bisi Oyedeji, in his welcome address, urged participants to take advantage of the roundtable to proffer solutions to the myriads of problems confronting the nation.

Stroke is a big problem not only in Nigeria but also in other developing nations of the world. For about two decades now, Dr. Kolawole Wasiu Wahab, a Consultant Neurologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Ilorin, has made it his business to frontally tackle this leading cause of mortality and disability.

 Dr. Wahab, a 2016 recipient of the Best Researcher Prize at the University of Ilorin, is one of the principal investigators in the largest study of stroke conducted in Africa till date -- the Stroke Investigative Research and Education Network (SIREN) SIREN, a multi-centred international study, sponsored by the National Institute of Health in the United States, seeks to determine the traditional risk factors for and effective treatment for stroke as well as the genetic predispositions to stroke.

  While identifying hypertension as the dominant risk factor for stroke, Dr. Wahab, in chat with Unilorin Bulletin, pointed out that majority of individuals who suffered stroke were unaware of the status or rise in their blood pressure resulting in the ailment of stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders. He said, “There are so many people that will come to the hospital with stroke and that will be the first time they are knowing they have hypertension. So the damage is already done by the time they are presenting to the hospital”.  He noted that awareness of risk factor is very poor while also highlighting other factors to include diabetes, smoking, alcohol consumption, high cholesterol, and bad lipid in the blood amongst others. 

   The Consultant Neurologist further identified some non-modifiable risk factors such as age, gender, and genetics. According to him, “Every decade one adds after the age of 55 years increases the risk of developing stroke. The sex of a person is important too, because stroke is more common in males than in females. …individuals should check their blood pressure regularly and those who are hypertensive should not deny it; they should start on medication and shouldn't allow themselves to be deceived because we have people outside who will tell you that they have a cure for hypertension. As of today, there is no cure for hypertension”.

  At the most concrete level, this distinguished neurologist has played important roles in reducing the burden of stroke in Nigeria, having facilitated, together with a senior colleague, the establishment of the Stroke Unit in the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital in 2011 (which is one of the earliest in the country). This endeavour has led to the drop in mortality rates of stroke in the Unit since its inception. 

  Given the challenges bedeviling the Nigerian healthcare system, Dr. Wahab emphasised the importance of prevention to reduce the burden of stroke. “One of the reasons why we are having high burden of stroke is because of the current situation- no health insurance”, he said, pointing out that “even if someone in the village is diagnosed of having hypertension, how is he going to take care of himself looking at the income?” 

  He said, “We have cases…when we go on outreaches to these communities, you will see someone with severe hypertension but there is no money for him to buy drugs to treat the condition; so if we have a good health insurance, those ones will be taken care of …the National Health Insurance Scheme is not sufficient ...even those who are covered are public servants. There are some investigations that you cannot do and how many Nigerians are actually civil servants? So what about the rest who are not covered?

  “To me, it is a very simple problem to solve. We are all using mobile phones for instance. If government makes it a policy that you should save for your health, it is going to relieve them a lot of headache. When I recharge my phone every week or every month, a certain percentage should be set aside for my health and if that money goes into a pool which is being done now with this NHIS, we have a larger pool so that if anybody is sick even if he needs N5 million for his treatment, there is not going to be any headache, it is just a matter of dipping your hands inside the pool and you take care of that person.”

   Underscoring the importance of values such as hard work, sacrifice and persistence, Dr.  Wahab, who had been elected twice by graduating medical students as the best lecturer in the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, enjoined young academics to identify their passion and pursue it. He said, “I think if you are driven by your passion and you are persistent, if you put in some hard work and with God being on one's side, one will achieve success.” These virtues, he continued, have contributed in no small measure to his success within the academia. “Some people have the focus of just getting employment in the University as an academic and rising to become a professor and they will not mind what kind of paper they submit for promotion. For them, the end justifies the means, however, if you will be an academic that will be worth your salt, the end should not justify the means. The way to getting to that end should matter too”, he maintained. 

Aside from winning the best researcher prize at the University of Ilorin, the renowned scholar had also won many other international awards and scholarships. Among these is the Commonwealth Scholarship for his further professional trainings at the University College, London and the Institute of Neurology and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London; the American Academy of Neurology International Scholarship; the World Federation of Neurology Travelling Fellowship and the International Brain Research Organization Scholarship. For his undergraduate study, he was awarded a scholarship by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

Born to the family of late Alhaji Abdulwahab Ajadi Gbadamosi and Sariyu Alari Abdulwahab in the famous Opoyeosa area of Ibadan, the young Wahab had his early education at St. Peter's Catholic School, Oke Are and Apata Community Grammar School, Ibadan where he graduated with the best result in 1987. Recalling his growing up days which he described as 'fun,' this Unilorin alumnus has this to say on his philosophy about life: “It is very simple. Do unto others the way you want them to do to you and for those who have got to a level, you should be ready to pull others up. I usually joke with people that the very fierce dog you see in your neighbourhood was once a puppy- meaning that, you need to mentor others, they have potentials and it is just for them to get someone to mentor them and they can actually be better than yourself. It is just a matter of guiding them so that they get to their potentials and we should always work together, because together, we achieve more.”

In an unmistakable confirmation of its glowing reputation as a "Better By Far" institution of learning, the University of Ilorin has produced two new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) at a go!

The two, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, a former Dean of the institution's Faculty of Law, and Prof. Muhammed Mustapha Akanbi, the Director of the institution’s School of Preliminary Studies,  are among the 31 senior lawyers that were elevated to the exalted SAN rank by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) last Thursday (July 12, 2018).       

Briefing newsmen in Abuja on the outcome of the 133rd Plenary Session of the LPPC, the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, who doubles as the Secretary of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, Mrs Hadizatu Uwani Mustapha, disclosed that 106 applications were received, processed and considered for this year's edition of the annual  S.A.N awards out of  which only 31scaled through.

Mrs. Mustapha added that the two Unilorin legal luminaries, along with their newly-elevated colleagues, including a woman, will be formally inducted on September 24, 2018, at the ceremony marking the commencement of the 2018/2019 legal year of the Supreme Court.

With the elevation of Prof. Egbewole and Prof. Akanbi, the University of Ilorin now has three Senior Advocates of Nigeria on its staff list. Dr. Joshua Kayode Olatoke of the same Faculty of Law had earlier in 2014 bagged the SAN status.

Meanwhile, congratulatory messages have been pouring in for the two eminent scholars over their well-deserved elevation to the highest rank in the legal profession in Nigeria. A cross-section of members of the University of Ilorin community, who spoke with Unilorin Bulletin on the development, described the elevation of the two legal luminaries as not only well-deserved, considering their erudition and commitment to the advancement of legal practice in the country, but also a thump-up for the University as an acclaimed citadel of learning that has trained and produced some of the most distinguished lawyers meaningfully contributing their quotas to the development of jurisprudence and legal practice, both within and outside Nigeria.

They, therefore, congratulated the duo for making the University very proud and wish them continuously successful practice as members of the Nigerian inner bar. They were also reminded of the need to remain bastions of intellectual, professional and moral uprightness and excellence so that the younger ones, particularly their students, would continue to emulate them for the sustainable greatness of the University and the Nigerian nation at large.

In a related development, a law graduate of the University of Ilorin, Miss. Faridah Amasa, who had a misunderstanding with the management of the Nigerian Law School over the manner of her dressing for call to bar last year, was finally called to the Nigerian Bar last week along with several others.

The immediate past Director of the Unilorin Consultancy Services Centre (UCSC), Prof. Olugbenga Mokuolu, has advocated a semi-autonomous status for the University's Consultancy Service for it to be able to generate considerable profit for the institution. 

Prof. Mokuolu, who gave the advice  penultimate Friday (June 30, 2018) during a send-forth programme organised for him and former Deputy Directors of the Centre at the Research Lodge, University of Ilorin, said, “Consultancy Services is a profit making venture of the university. We must be daring as a university to make good decisions, the request for some form of semi-autonomy is very crucial”. 

The don, who is also a former Director of the Centre for International Education (CIE), said that the University should put its money where its mouth is and give enabling environment for the business to grow if it wants to do business. 

Pointing out that the Consultancy Services could have a Chief Executive Officer that would guide the centre into a successful and profitable venture, Prof. Mokuolu said, “Honestly, we cannot administer bureaucracy and business together because the two don't go together”.

He said that “the study model is Harvard University which generates about 4.7 billion US dollars annually”, adding that “they have a separate management structure on all Harvard business ventures. And except we do that, we might be slowing down”.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. B. F. Sule, extolled the quality of Prof. Olugbenga Mokuolu's headship of the Unilorin Consultancy Services.

Prof. Sule, who is also the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), commended the centre for deeming it fit to appreciate and celebrate all those that have laboured to advance the University. 

Tracing the history of the Consultancy Services, Prof. Sule acknowledged the contribution of the former Director, who, he said, strived to ensure the progress of the outfit despite challenges.

Also in his remarks, the Ag. Director of UCSC, Dr.  (Mrs.) O.A. Eleta, said there is nothing done in life that does not get rewarded. She then prayed that the Lord would reward adequately all those that have served from various quarters and in different ways, contributed to bring the unit to the stage it was.

Dr . Eleta said that the family gathering was organised to appreciate God, as He has helped each of the honorees who had over the years sacrificed their intellect, time, and other resources to ensure the continued existence of the Unilorin Consultancy and in particular, the Unilorin Water Enterprises and Unilorin Researchers Lodge.

Various speakers at the event especially those who served under Prof. Mokuolu, described the erudite scholar as a mentor and a leader per excellent.

Among them were the former Deputy Director, Community Business Venture, Dr. Muhammad-Lawal Abdulazeez; the former Deputy Director, Continuity Professional Development, Dr. Taofiq A. Alabi; the Director General of URDMB, Mr. Ayo Sijuwola; the Manager of the Unilorin Researcher Lodge, Mr. Ologun Olohunleke; the former Manager of Unilorin Water Enterprises, Mr. Abdulrahman Idris; the Supervisor of Unilorin Water Enterprise, Mr. Kenneth Anorue; the Accountant of Consultancy Service, Mr. Adeyemi Idris; and the former Accountant of Unilorin Water Enterprise, Mr. Adeyemi.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has commended the partnership between the University and the Nigerian Army School of Education (NASE), Ilorin, towards the postgraduate training of qualified military officers. 

Prof. Abdulkareem, who stated this penultimate Friday (June 29, 2018) at the Graduation Ceremony of the Nigerian Army Education Corps (NAEC) Officers Executive Management Course 10/18, charged the NASE graduands to be good ambassadors of the institution.   Represented by the Dean of Student Affairs, University of Ilorin, Prof. Lanre Tajudeen Ajibade, the Vice-Chancellor, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the graduation, commended the Nigerian Army for raising the name of the University of Ilorin high

Prof. Abdulkareem further highlighted other areas of partnership for professional development such as the Ilorin Business School, which could yield numerous benefits to both institutions. 

Also speaking at the event, the Director of the Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies (CPSS), University of Ilorin, Prof. Noah Yusuf, commended the graduands for demonstrating a high level of discipline and professionalism expected from officers and men of the Nigerian Army. 

Prof. Yusuf described men of the Nigerian Army as disciplined and detribalised Nigerians who are committed to the service of the motherland, saying, “As one of the resource persons from the academia, I can attest to the rigorous training experiences undergone by these military officers”.

Earlier, the Commandant of NASE, Sobi Cantonment, Gen. N.S. Umaru, tasked the graduands on their newly acquired knowledge, and encouraged them to prove their mettle wherever they find themselves and aim to excel in their endeavours. 

Gen. Umaru further warned them to show restraint in their use of the social media platforms based on the new rules and policy of the Army, saying, “We should not be carried away by the things happening around us”. 

The Commandant, thereafter, commended the level of synergy and cooperation which exists among security agencies in Kwara State, saying this should be demonstrated at every level in order to move the nation forward. 

 On NASE's collaboration with the University of Ilorin, Gen. Umaru said that the CPSS Director, Prof. Yusuf, “has done a very good job in selecting teachers to come and deliver lectures on topical issues”, which has impacted greatly on the students. 

Dr. Abdulsalam Bolakale Suleiman, who delivered the Graduation Lecture, entitled “Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria: State Response and Strategic Option”, dwelt extensively on the history of the emergence of the Boko Haram insurgency as well as the efforts of the Nigerian Army in tackling the insurgency and banditry, as well as challenges confronting it in its bid towards safeguarding the peace and unity of the nation.