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Afe Babalola bags National Postgraduate Medical College Fellowship Award

A frontline Nigerian lawyer and founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, Thursday, in Lagos, was conferred with the honourary Fellowship Award by the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria(NPMCN).

He received the prestigious award at the 40th convocation ceremony of the college in Ijanikin along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway. And by virtue of the award, Aare Afe Babalola becomes the 23rd recipient among eminent Nigerians living or dead to be honoured by the college with the same award in its 43 years of history.

Among those before him is former President Olusegun Obasanjo, General Yakubu Gowon(retd), the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, General Ibrahim Babangida (retd), Late Sir Mobolaji Bank-Anthony, the current governor of Borno State, Prof Babagana Zulum, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Dr Peter Odili to mention but a few.

Similarly, three fellows of the college, namely: the former college President, Prof Musa Borodo; former Registrar, Dr Owoidoho Udofia and a former Governing Board member, Dr Augustine Oheovoriole, were also conferred with the college’s Distinguished Fellowship Award at the event while a total of 416 specialists conferred with fellowship award by examination.

In his remark at the event, the Minister of State for Health, Joseph Ekumankama, represented by the Director-General, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research(NIMR), Yaba, Prof Babatunde Salako, said the Federal Government really acknowledges the great role being played by NPMCN in the production of high quality medical and dental care professionals in the country.

He said the government would continue to support the college with funds and in other areas possible so as to be able to discharge its mandates more effectively.

He, however, congratulated Aare Afe Babalola on his honourary fellowship and other awardees including the 416 graduands.

He said he believes the award would spur them for more service to the country and humanity.
In his own address, the President of the College and former Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Idi-Araba, Dr Akin Osibogun, said the college had produced no fewer than 7,500 medical and dental specialists so far since its inception 43 years ago.

He, however, lamented the brain-drain syndrome in the two fields in the country, saying the condition is greatly threatening the realisation of the college mandates of producing enough specialist medical and dental manpower for the country.

He said the brain-drain challenge would need to be addressed urgently particularly by the government creating an environment that is enabled the practice of the two professions and also encourage many more people into the fields, and equally retain them to practice in the country rather than to seek greener pasture abroad.

He congratulated Aare Afe Babalola on the honour done to him by the college, saying it is a well-deserved honour.

According to him, even though Aare Afe Babalola is not a medical person, he has shown an uncommon passion for healthcare development in Nigeria.

“So, he is being honoured today for that his uncommon passion and commitment and investments in the multi-system hospital and the medical school at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti.
He added, “This is the highest recognition the college can confer on non-medically qualified dignitaries.

“Though, while our regular fellowship are registrable with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, the honourary fellowship is not.”

Responding to the award, Aare Afe Babalola appreciated the college and its leadership for considering him worthy to be accorded the honour, saying he would forever cherish it.

Speaking through his representative, Prof Slyvester Oluwadare Ojo, who is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of ABUAD(Academic), Aare Afe Babalola said he would have loved to become a medical doctor as he cherished the profession in his early years and even now but for the fate that took him to legal profession which he also cherishes.

He said he would continue to contribute significantly to the university education and the training of medical personnel for the country and also impart humanity.

He, however, called on the college and other relevant medical institutions in the country to partner with ABUAD’s College of Medicine and teaching hospital in areas of mutual benefit.
He said ABUAD has become a great force to reckon with among other top-rate universities globally and would continue to strivè for greater heights.

 

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