A Professor of Medicine at the University of Ibadan, Olusegun Akinyinka, has urged the new medical graduands of the University of Ilorin to be of good standing with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria by upholding the Physician's Oath, paying the annual dues and comming themselves to acquiring more than the minimum CME points.

Prof. Akinyinka, who stated this last Wednesday (February 14, 2018) while addressing the 84 newly inducted medics, who are members of the Batch A of 2018 MB;BS Graduating Set of the University of Ilorin College of Health Sciences at the University Auditorium, urged them to continuously update their knowledge in their chosen fields.

Speaking on the topic “Contemporary Healthcare, Medical Education and Global Competitiveness: Nigerian Medical Graduates as Pilots on the Runways of their Professional Lives”, the Guest Speaker assured them of brighter future if they comply with the tenets of the Physician's Oath.

“You must realize that you will be practising in a time when today's knowledge may not be too relevant for the challenges of the future healthcare; therefore there is the need to embrace continuous update of knowledge in your chosen fields. You must also dedicate your lives to the tenets of the Physician's Oath which enjoins you to be dedicated to the service of humanity. You must also respect the dignity of your patients and eschew any form of professional malpractices that could bring dishonour to the medical profession”.

Prof. Akinyinka said that the profession expects a legacy of excellence nurtured by a culture of hard-work, sound character, diligence and service to humanity from the new medics, adding that “in discharging the responsibility of today's induction to you, the nation expects that you respect the oath of our profession, be kind and be considerate to your patients”.

The Guest Lecturer also advised the new medical graduands to cultivate the correct attitude to life and the practice of this noble profession, “as the height you attain in life is not a function of your capability but attitude”. According to him, “attitude is not a gift, it is a choice and the quality of your choice determines the runway you will take in your professional life and your career trajectory”.

  Lamenting the quality of medical education for national development and international relevance and competitiveness in Nigeria, Prof. Akinyinka said that Nigeria deserves a monitored and well-designed medical education curriculum that ensures its graduates have proven competences that would inspire the confidence of society and policy makers for an enhanced national health care system.

He added that there is the need for Nigeria to scale-up the quality of undergraduate medical education and professional specialty training with contemporary teaching and evaluation methods geared towards an improved health care system and enhanced research and technologically driven as well as discovery led healthcare delivery system which will also aid national development.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Technology and Innovation), Prof. Gabriel Olatunji, commended the College of Health Sciences for leading the University to greater heights in the areas of medicine, urging  it to keep the flag flying.

Prof. Olatunji, who also appreciated the students and, assured them of the University administration's continued support.

Earlier in his address, the Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Prof. 'Wahab B. Rotimi Johnson, said that the induction ceremony would remain unique, as the medical graduands represent the 'first aliquot' of the last graduating class that he would be superintending over as the Provost of the College.

Prof. Johnson said that “the 84 inductees, constitute 80.8% of the entire class of one-hundred and three 600 level medical students who sat for the required Part III Final MB;BS examinations in Community Health, Medicine and Surgery. This overall percentage Pass of over 80%, is to the best of my knowledge the highest that has been recorded by any final year class of undergraduate medical trainees since I joined the academic staff of this medical school over 30 years ago! With these additional 84 medical graduands, our College/Medical School would have inducted a total of 4,414 doctors since the inaugural event in1983.”

He listed some of the accomplishments of the College during the last three-and-a-half years of his provostship to include full accreditation and re-accreditation of nearly all the existing College-related professional programmes, and B.Sc. programmes, including the MB;BS, Bachelor  of Nursing Science (B.NSc.), B.Sc. Anatomy and BSc Physiology programmes by the NUC and the relevant professional bodies”.

While appreciating the University management's efforts, the Consultant Paediatrician & Pulmonologist further stated that such efforts included sustaining the functionality of the Clinical Skills and Simulation Laboratory (CSSL), continuing physical and infrastructural growth and development of the College, completion and official opening of the long-awaited 6.5km link road between the College and the University main campus, among others.

The Provost noted that the laudable infrastructural and physical accomplishments have been made possible through the judicious and prudent deployment of the University's Needs Assessment and Tertiary Education Trust (TET) Funds from the Federal Government.

The LEAH Foundation, an initiative of the wife of the Kwara State Governor, Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed, has appealed to the management of the University of Ilorin to include screening for breast and cervical cancer in the pre-admission medical examination requirement for enrolment of new female students into the university.

 The appeal was made by the Founder of the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Mrs. Ahmed, last Wednesday (February 7, 2018) when she paid a courtesy visit on the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, in commemoration of the 2018 World Cancer Day.

Expressing the Foundation's determination to contribute to the global target of a 25% reduction in premature cancer death by year 2025, Mrs. Ahmed disclosed that “LEAH Foundation plans to establish a basic screening centre for breast and cervical cancers in the University Health Centre”.

The Kwara State First Lady pointed out that through the intervention, the foundation would have fulfilled two of the four essential pillars of cancer treatment and care, which are improving the quality of cancer data for public health use as well as increasing the number of people with access to early detection of the killer disease.

She explained that her foundation was committed to creating awareness to ensure that young ladies would present themselves for screening, adding that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended that every child (male and female) from the age of nine should be vaccinated against the deadly virus.

In the continued advocacy for action to be taken by critical stakeholders to nip the disease in the bud, Mrs. Ahmed explained that the Foundation had set up the LEAH Anti-Cancer Club at both secondary and tertiary institutions across the state to reach out to the adolescent and young adults about issues bordering on breast and cervical cancer prevention through education and information.

She said, “Generally, cancer is an epidemic disease that has caused massive morbidity and mortality worldwide. According to the WHO, cancer accounted for 8.8 million deaths in 2015 and the number of new cases is expected to increase to about 70% over the next two decades. Globally, nearly one in six deaths is due to cancer”.

“Breast and cervical cancer are the most common cancers in Africa. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among women. In Nigeria, an estimated 10,000 new cases of cervical cancer and 8,000 cancer deaths have been recorded among women yearly”, she explained.

Speaking on the World Cancer Day, Mrs. Ahmed noted that “the day is a chance to reflect on what you can do and what I can do, make a pledge and take action. The day brings to the fore the issue of millions of people worldwide facing unequal access to cancer detection, treatment and care services.”

While welcoming the delegation to his office, the Vice-Chancellor said that the University was committed to achieving its mandate on community service through collaborations with relevant stakeholders in the country.

Prof. Abdulkareem, who disclosed that the University team would visit the LEAH Foundation to formalise the agreement, also announced that the institution, through its Clinical Assessment Centre, has invested a lot in the procurement of medical equipment for breast cancer diagnosis.

In his own remarks during the visit, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the University of Ilorin Governing Council, Dr. Abdullah Jibril Oyekan (MFR), said he was happy that the proposal to collaborate with the institution on cancer reduction in the country came up during his tenure as the Council Chairman.

While hoping and praying for the success of the collaboration, Dr. Oyekan observed that government alone cannot solve serious social health issues in any country.

The Governing Council Chairman, who said it is a good thing that Nigerians are now being alive to their social responsibility to the society, however, commended Mrs. Ahmed for her dedication and commitment to the well being of the people of Kwara State.

The Bishop of the Anglican Communion, Ibadan Diocese, Most Rev. Dr Joseph Akinfenwa, has identified religion as a major factor fuelling political tension in Nigeria, stating that the place of religion in the contemporary socio-political situation of the country needs to be re-examined.              

Rev. Akinfenwa made this assertion last Wednesday (February 7, 2018) at the opening ceremony of the maiden Biennial Conference organised by the Department of Religions, Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin, with the theme “Religion and Contemporary Issues in Nigeria”.

The clergyman, who was the Chairman of the Conference, which took place at the University Auditorium, said, “Politically, Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder. While all religions preach peace and thus it would be expected that religion could be used to diffuse political tension, the opposite is the case in Nigeria. In fact, religion is perhaps one of the main factors fuelling political tension in our nation.”

While noting that Nigeria is a nation of extremely religious people, Rev. Akinfenwa pointed out that the country is at the same time deeply immersed in corruption.“Today in Nigeria, religion influences something as basic as population census; and we have continued to suffer because we simply do not know for sure how many we are, and who exactly are the citizens of Nigeria. So, the place of religion and our contemporary political situation needs to be well examined”, he said.

The clergyman further identified class prejudices as another factor fueling underdevelopment in the country. According to him, “the son of a nobody has to struggle against the odds in his quest to become somebody… and kept down by an elite class that is determined to forever suppress and undermine the underprivileged, the frustration of the masses which used to find vent in religious and ethnic tension is gradually coming to roost.”

In his remarks at the event, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman AbdulKareem, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. Adedayo Yusuf Abdulkareem, described the theme of the Conference as very apt. According to him, Nigeria is a nation committed to religion “in the sense that, a number of mosques spring up all over the place, churches abound all over the place and in recent times, we are seeing shrines all over the place and yet what religion is expected to do in man's life we are still lagging behind in Nigeria”. 

While noting that Nigeria is presently witnessing a lot of crisis in form of insurgency, kidnapping, fraud as well as malpractices in the educational sector, the Vice-Chancellor expressed the hope that the outcome of the Conference will contribute significant solutions to problems confronting the Nigerian society. He further commended the Department for honouring Prof. Quadri, describing him as highly disciplined, humane and religious personality who has contributed immensely to the University system.

The keynote speaker at the event, Prof. Ja'afar Kaura of the Department of Islamic Studies, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, explained that contemporary issues bedeviling the country are products of the long history of decay occasioned by bad policies and entrenchment of corruption by past administrations. 

Earlier in his remarks, the Head of the Department of Religions, Prof. Rotimi Williams Omotoye, said, “Research on religion as an institution and discipline is important in the religious, political and socio-economic life of Nigeria.” He explained that the idea of writing the book in honour of Prof. Quadri was mooted some years ago during the tenure of the former Head of the Department (now current Dean), Prof. Oyeronke Olademo.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, has cried out over the destruction of the University's multi-million naira research and training farms as well as sundry economic trees' plantations by cattle illegally grazing on the vast lands of the institution.

Following this unfortunate development, the management of the institution last Thursday (February 8, 2018) held a security meeting with the leaders of the 11 Fulani settlements on the University land. The meeting was witnessed by representatives of law enforcement agencies comprising the Nigerian Police Force, the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). 

At the meeting held at the institution's Auditorium Basement, Prof. Abdulkareem disclosed that the University management would no longer tolerate illegal grazing of cows on its land. He, therefore, told the illegal settlers, who have started building permanent structures to vacate the University land in the interest of peace.

This was coming almost a year after the University authority first issued a quit notice to the illegal settlers.

Unilorin Bulletin recalls that the University management had on April 26, 2017 handed down a seven-day ultimatum to the Fulani herdsmen encroaching on the University land to quit the campus, but the quit notice was never complied with.

Also on May 11, 2017, twenty-eight persons, comprising Fulani herdsmen, Yoruba and Hausa farmers, were dragged to an Ilorin Chief Magistrate's Court for allegedly trespassing into the University land, destroying the school's plantation and perpetrating other unauthorised activities on the University campus.

The accused persons were alleged to have resorted to poisoning the institution's dam with chemicals, while also engaging in illegal felling of economic trees from which they made charcoal.

But at last Thursday's meeting, the Vice-Chancellor clearly told the Fulani settlers that “enough is enough”, stressing that the University could no longer condone the destructive activities of their grazing cattle on the University land, “as this is becoming too costly for the institution to bear”. 

Prof. Abdulkareem said, “We have a multi-million naira programme that is currently at stake now because they (herders) have gone to the extent of uprooting tubers of cassava for their cattle to feed on. We cannot conduct any research or training on the farm again because each time we get to a point where their cattle can feed on it… they go back there and destroy it.”

The Vice-Chancellor explained that the objective of the meeting was to marshal out plans to agree on a specific time frame for the herdsmen and other illegal settlers to vacate the University land. “And once we agree, they cannot spend one day after on our land”, he said, recalling that the University, under his immediate predecessor in 2017, had granted a three-month extension window which the herders had requested for in order to vacate the University land, an agreement which was eventually violated after the herders failed to comply with it”.

Herdsmen from eleven communities took turns to speak at the meeting. The Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Usman Adamu, told the University management that the herdsmen destroying the University farm land were not living in the community, pointing out that there were other ethnic groups embarking on illegal activities like logging, and were not differentiated from the Fulanis. 

He maintained that the Fulanis have been living peacefully in the environment and had even helped in checking crimes such as kidnappings, robberies, which hitherto occurred on the University campus.  

The herdsmen appealed to the University management for time and pledged to come up with a response on the matter by February 22, 2018.

Speaking through an interpreter, the Vice-Chancellor, in his response, told the herders that the University was willing to give them logistics support, to ease their relocation provide them, nomadic education and more where necessary, but stressed that they must stay outside of the University land.

 “We care about them but we cannot afford to keep them on our land again …if they want to continue to be our friend, they can live anywhere around us but they should realise that this is a sacred place… Again, even where there are wars, people leave the University alone. We are now facing a lot of financial problems and yet they are compounding it for us…the teak plantation, several times they have set it on fire and there are millions of naira invested in that place”, he said.

Representatives of security agencies, who took turns to speak at the event, stressed that drastic measures will have to be taken in order to ensure that the investments of the University remain secured. Speaking at an earlier meeting with the Vice-Chancellor, the DSS representative, Mr A. Akinsola, said, “The security agencies are ready to assist; just tell us what you want to do and we will support you.” 

Others present at the event were representatives of the NPF and NSCDC, Mr Olaoye Emmanuel and Mrs Sinat Ajadi, respectively, as well as the Alangua of Tanke.  

Members of the University Management at the meeting were the Deputy Vice-Chancellors (Academic, Management Services, as well as Research, Technology and Innovation), Profs. N. Y. S. Ijaiya, Adedayo Abdulkareem and Gabriel Olatunji, respectively; the Deputy Registrar, Mrs R.A. Okojie; the Deputy Bursar, Mr Munir Dere; the Director, Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, Prof. Noah Yusuf; the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. K. Joseph;  Prof. S. F. Ambali from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; the Deputy Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr Kunle Akogun; the Chief Security Officer of the University, Mr Inuwa Tijani; as well as the representative of the Legal Unit, Mrs. R.R. Olokooba. 

The management of the University of Ilorin has commended members of the institution's academic staff and students for their understanding and sacrifice in the face of the on-going strike by the non-teaching staff.

The commendation was made during a meeting the Governing Council Chairman, Dr. Abdullah Jibril Oyekan, and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, held with officials of the institution's Academic Staff Union last Thursday (February 7, 2018).

Speaking at the meeting, the Council Chairman noted with delight that academic activities are going on smoothly especially that the lecturers have to tidy up their work spaces themselves and perform other extra functions that are ordinarily beyond their duty calls.  

This, according to Dr. Oyekan, is a show of high level of sacrifice that could not go unnoticed.

On his part, the Vice-Chancellor particularly commended the lecturers for their dutifulness despite the fact that their earned allowances are yet to be released. He however, pledged that efforts are ongoing to ensure the release of the already approved allowance very soon.

While asking for more cooperation from the academic staff, especially in view of the impending First Semester examinations, Prof. Abdulkareem pledged to make sure that all the lecturers that participate in the examinations are properly remunerated.

The Vice-Chancellor commended the Unilorin ASUU executive for showing good leadership and promised to always support them.

Prof. Abdulkareem, who also commended the students of the institution for showing understanding in view of the extant situation on campus, urged them to conduct themselves properly during the period of the examinations.

One of the foundation staff of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Yasir Anjola Quadri, has been described as “a highly disciplined, humane and religious personality who has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the University.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, made this observation last Wednesday (February 7, 2018) at the first Biennial Conference of the Department of Religions and book launch in honour of the foremost Professor of Islamic Studies. 

Prof. Abdulkareem's tribute set the pace for an outpouring of encomiums by various guests at the Conference, themed “Religion and Contemporary Issues in Nigeria”, which held at the University Auditorium.

Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Prof. Adedayo Yusuf Abdulkareem, the Vice-Chancellor commended the Department for honouring Prof. Quadri with the book, entitled 'Religion and Human Capital Development: Essays in Honour of Prof. Yasir Anjola Quadri', which was edited by Profs: Y.O. Imam, R.W. Omotoye, P.O. Abioje and Dr A.I. Ali-Agan.

  Also in his own tribute, the Chairman of the occasion, who is also the Bishop of the Anglican Communion, Ibadan Diocese, Most Rev. Dr Joseph Akinfenwa, said that Prof. Quadri has “risen to the position of being called the Magna Carta of the Department of Religions.” 

Rev. Akinfenwa, who is also an alumnus of the University, said, “Prof. Sir, even though you are required by University regulations to retire, please do not disengage from the intellectual community. We still need your voice in the arena of intellectual discourse of religion”.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Head of the Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, Prof. Rotimi Omotoye, described Prof. Quadri as “a role model and unbiased leader who has been playing his role in the Department and the entire University without religious or ethnic bias”.

Prof. Omotoye said that the honoree stands for justice, equity and fair play in his interaction with members of staff and students of the university.

The Head of Department described Prof. Quadri as the “Father of the Department. He stands for justice, equity and fair play in his interaction with members of staff in the Department.”

The Communication and Networking Research Group domiciled in the Department of Telecommunication Science, Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, has won the Best paper Award at the IEEE International Rural and Elderly Health Informatics Conference (IREHI) held in Lome, Togo, between December 14 and 17, 2017.

The Paper, entitled “On Green Virtual Clinics: A Framework for Extending Health Care Services to Rural Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa”, was presented by the Lead Researcher, Dr. Nasir Faruk. The research work aimed at developing a framework for sustainable healthcare delivery (including health education) through the development, implementation and promotion of ICT in the health care system.

Other members of the research team include Dr. Lukman A. Olawoyin, Dr. N. T. Surajudeen-Bakinde, Dr. Abdulkarim A. Oloyede, Dr. A. Abdulkarim, Mr. Olayiwola O. Bello, all of the University of Ilorin, and Dr. Segun Popoola of Covenant University, Otta, Ogun State.