ICOMAA PRESIDENT PROMISES TO MEET BROWNITES’ REQUEST
At the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (CoMUI), Novembers are for homecoming events. The distinguished members of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association (ICOMAA) see fit, every year, to set apart a week in November to reunite with old colleagues near and far, at their alma mater.
Needless to say, this year is not an exception. Just last week, ICOMAA held a variety of activities day after day in celebration of the 2021 Homecoming Events from Monday, 8th November to Friday, 12th November. Into the bargain, a towering event amidst others was the 2021 Alumni Day & Distinguished Alumni Lecture which took place on Thursday, 11th November.
Minutes away from midday it was, on a Thursday morning at the Paul Hendrickse Lecture Theatre. Music played softly in the background, as people moved in in dribs and drabs. At exactly 12 noon, the programme began. Anthems- of Nigeria, UI and CoMUI- were sung and the guests of honours were introduced by the Master of Ceremony, Dr Sesan Oluwasola.
The Welcome Address was given by the ICOMAA President, Prof. Emmanuel O. Otolorin, who assumed office about a year ago. In his address, he stated that ICOMAA had collaborated with CoMUI to strategise on how to meet the immediate needs of the College of Medicine, Ibadan. He mentioned that the team had, in the previous few months, focused on 2 prime projects which are, the hostel project which is meant to provide ample accommodation for all clinical students, a requirement of MDCN; and a scheme to address the issue of indigency among CoMUI students. He went on to solicit for donations from the alumni for adequate financing of these projects. Before he wrapped up his speech, he endeavoured to encourage the students present at the event to persevere through these torrid times in the country. “I will continue to encourage you to hang in there. I know that living in Nigeria at this time is not the easiest thing in the world,” he said.
He reaffirmed his concern for them and assured them that their antecedent requests made to him would be met. “We see you as future members of our association. And so, we want you to have an experience that you will remember when you become members of our association.
“Let me assure you that I have not forgotten the request that you made to me during my visit to Alexander Brown Hall on Independence Day. You expressed concern about the defective supply of electricity to the reading room because of the deterioration of the inverter system in the Hall.
“The electrical engineers who were sent to look into problem- and suggest solutions- have just submitted a report, which will be tabled to the ICOMAA Executives for a decision on implementation. I am optimistic that this will be addressed before the 2021 Christmas Break,” he asserted.
Next was the Provost, Prof. Olayinka O. Omigbodun’s speech. While she gave her speech, she highlighted the various challenges that had been facing the college since she became Provost. Some of which are problems of infrastructural development, failure of the government to supply funds, the problem of indigency among CoMUI students, among others. She emphasised the need for the University to become autonomous, being allowed to charge students competitively. In response to this, a throaty murmur ran across the audience (among the students) as they did not hesitate to make their dissent and displeasure promptly known.
“I don’t see why the students are making a noise about that. I will be honest with you, students. You access education at $200 a year. And then when you finish, you all want to go abroad. It’s a plague on the land! We train students at next to nothing and then they go out to serve the US and Australian governments. There is a problem there. I think you people need to start to love your country. I don’t need to be popular but I will speak the truth. And the truth is that you have no other country to go to. Wherever you go, you have to return home to join us,” she firmly stated.
Other people who gave their speech are: Major-General Akintunde Akinkunmi (Rtd), the Chairman of the event; Prof. Olufunmilayo I. Fawole who gave the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Lecture on the topic, COVID-19 Response in Nigeria: Testing, Surveillance and Maintenance of Essential Health Services and the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kayode O. Adebowale who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Admin), Prof. E. O. Ayoola.
At the edge of the programme being brought to fruition was the presentation of plaques to distinguished guests of honour, after which the vote of thanks followed. The national anthem was sung and the meeting was brought to a close, few minutes to 3pm.