By Uchechukwu Nnaike
The Lagos State University (LASU) Alumni Association recently rolled out the drums to celebrate some of its members who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields of endeavour.
The diner and award ceremony, which held at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, was also in honour of the team of doctors and medical professionals at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), who successful performed the first indigenous kidney transplant without having to get doctors from abroad.
Recipients of the award of recognition were: the Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule; wife of the Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode; Mrs. Yeside Oyetayo; and Romola Adeola PhD.
On the other hand, recipients of the award of excellence were: the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase; President of the alumni association, Maj. Gen. Cecil Esekhaigbe (rtd); Mr. Lekan Ogunbanwo; Mr. Bisi Olatilo; Prof. Kabir Akinyemi; Mr. Norrison Quakers (SAN); and Mr. Soye Oniagba.
In his remarks, Esekhaigbe said the association deemed it fit to honour the medical team for attaining the milestone in the history of the university and for making the institution and the state proud.
He said the event was also organised to recognise members that have distinguished themselves and excelled in various fields of endeavor, as well as to raise funds for the construction of a N250 million alumni hall at the main campus of the university.
While calling on the alumni to give back to the institution, he advised current students to work hard to graduate and become members of the association. He also appealed to the university management to provide a conducive learning environment for the students.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun, described the feat by LASUTH doctors as inspirational, saying that it is defining, not just for the university, but for the state, because it underscores that rather than Nigerians going abroad, with the right facilities, medical doctors in the country have the intellectual competence to deliver. He said all the country needs to do is look inwards.
Fagbohun, who acknowledged the role of the alumni in the development of any institution, said “what characterises a world-class university? Three factors- excellent students, excellent faculty staff and resources to robustly prosecute the agenda of the university. In relation to this third critical factor, the alumni are key.”
He described the awardees as proven leaders who had taken on major challenges and responsibilities. “They represent the excellence that LASU has always been known for, but which along the line was becoming marred by challenges. Today we are happy to state that with the new dawn at LASU, we are back on the path of excellence.”
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director at LASUTH, Prof. Adewale Oke, who commended the team that made the first kidney transplant a success, said its establishment, the hospital has been “work in progress”, with efficient professionals in every specialty of medical practice. He said several local and international awards of excellence are prove of the competence of the workforce.
While commending that state government for its support, which led to the feat, he promised that the hospital would continue performing kidney transplants and would insist on best practices in all its activities.
In her address, Adebule, who is an alumnus of LASU, said the event is an opportunity for the alumni to rekindle past memories and to count how many miles they have travelled since they left the university.
She commended the medical team for a job well done and for making the state proud, saying that she looks forward for more exploits. She assured the institution that the state government would continue to provide the enabling environment to enable it function well.
The deputy governor, who noted that the challenge before the new administration in LASU is enormous, urged all stakeholders in the university to work hard and be willing to make sacrifices to put the university on the right track.