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RIGHTING THE WRONGS : WHEN WILL IT BE THE TURN OF NDIGBO?

In this column last week, I applauded and defended the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari  (PMB) to honour late MKO Abiola and his vice-presidential candidate, Babagana Kingibe for their victory in the June 12, 1993 elections, a victory which had been denied in the last 25 years. All fair minded people accepted that it was a good thing to happen, though many said PMB was scoring a'cheap political point' questioning his democratic credentials including being on the side of Abacha, and some others said Babagana Kingibe did not deserve the honour as he was said to have abandoned the struggle or even sabotaged Abiola by accepting to serve in Abacha's cabinet. Every body is entitled to his opinion but I remain convinced that PMB, irrespective of his motives scored a bull's eye with this June 12 recognition and re-validation.
Indeed, PMB in my view scored more points by what he did and said at the award ceremony on June 12, 2018. Hear him "The recognition is not an a…

ABIOLA & JUNE 12: LET'S GO THE WHOLE HOG

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Monumental history was made this past week. A Nation that seemed to be in denial for 25 years finally came home to face the truth.On June 12, 1993, Nigerians went to the polls to elect a civilian democratic President. The election was generally adjudged to be peaceful, free and fair but the official result was not released. The military President in Power, Nigeria's own IBB cancelled the elections using all kinds of subterfuge or so it seemed. A motley group of cash & carry politicians led by then irrepressible Arthur Nzeribe, connived with an equally cash & carry judiciary to give IBB an alibi to cancel the elections. The Nation, especially, Southern Nigeria rose up in protest against IBB and his henchmen. I fully remember late Dr Beko-Ransome Kuti, Barrister Femi Falana and the trade unionist Kokori leading protests which many of us joined on Ikorodu Road and Airport Road marching to Alausa in Lagos.There were bonfires all over Lagos and other parts of the South West and…

A CALL TO PROVIDE VISIONARY, IMPACTFUL & ETHICAL LEADERSHIP TO THE PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF NIGERIA (PSN)

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I am thankful to God for the honour of presenting myself for service as the President of our professional association, come November 2018.

ENTRY INTO PHARMACY I am a 1976 graduate of Pharmacy from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). At the University I was once the National Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS). I did my internship at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu and my compulsory National Youth service at the General Hospital in Yelwa-Yauri in present day Kebbi State
PROFESSIONAL CAREER I joined Pfizer Products Plc in July 1978 as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative (PSR), became Area Manager in 1980, National Sales Manager in 1982, Group Sales Manager (Pharmaceutical & Animal Health) in 1985. I was appointed Marketing Manager in 1989 and invited to the Board as Pharmaceutical Division Director in 1990, rising to become the Deputy Country Manager in 1992. I peaked in my career when I was appointed the…

BUHARI'S LAST LAP & THE RENEWED OFFENSIVE

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Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) began the last lap in the four year term given to him by the people of Nigeria to lead the Nation. Though PMB has expressed a wish to have his mandate renewed, no one can be sure if this request will be granted, until after the Presidential elections in February or March next year (depending on which schedule will rule- INEC or NASS) and hoping that all things remain equal. You may ask me what I mean by "all things remain equal" I have read resolutions by some Ethnic nationality groups insisting that Nigeria must be restructured or there may be no elections. In view of the fact that no one knows if the restructuring will take place on one hand and the fact that nobody knows whether the ethnic nationalities can carry out their threat on the other hand, that's what I mean by "all things being equal" Nevertheless, the chances of granting PMB's request will certainly depend on what he does or what he does not do in thi…

IS THE NMA A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION OR A TRADE UNION?

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I must begin this piece by disclosing that I have many good and long-time friends who are medical doctors and indeed I have many in my family including my own son. Let me also state that Medicine is a very dignified profession and all over the World it is accorded special respect. In our days, if your were a very bright student and you did well in the Sciences, you would be expected to choose Medicine or Engineering as your professional pursuit. Actually before the Nigeria-Biafra War interrupted my education, I had been steam-rolled to choose medicine as my first course, even when my mind was aching for Business Administration, Law or Journalism. My dilemma was that I was doing well in all subjects. So after losing three years in the war I was not prepared to spend one day longer in the pursuit of a degree. To be sincere, I did not know much about Pharmacy as a separate profession, I thought Medicine and Pharmacy were part of the same profession. So when I complained to my uncle that I…

EMASCULATING & HUMILIATING THE SENATE: IN WHOSE INTEREST?

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Since the proclamation of the 8th Assembly, I have noticed a consistent effort to emasculate the National Assembly, particularly the Senate. This matter has assumed an alarming intensity in the recent weeks and I am getting really worried for our democracy.  First effort, was the challenge to the power of the Senate to confirm certain executive appointments. Both the constitution and other extant laws gave powers to the Senate to approve, confirm or ratify specific appointments from ministerial through Commissions, Security service leadership, Boards and Agency leadership. But we have seen some effort to deny this power of the Senate. The classical and subsisting case is the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to replace Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of EFCC after the Senate rejected his nomination twice due to adverse reports from a sister Security agency - DSS. Three years down the line, the President has ignored the Senate and has kept Magu on the job, effectively rendering the Sen…

CODEINE ABUSE, PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY & OFFICIAL OVERREACH

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Recently Codeine has been in the news, essentially for the wrong reasons. Codeine which came into use in 1832 has been a very useful medication for treating pain and more recently as a cough suppressant in cough syrups. Codeine or 3-methyl morphine is an alkaloid found in the opium poppy- Papaver somniferum . In 1848, a German Pharmacist discovered how to isolate morphine from the opium poppy, which eventually gave rise to the discovery of Codeine by Pierre Robiquet, a French Chemist in 1832. Subsequently, Codeine was extracted from the black tar opium which constantly put the drug manufacturers in constant conflict with illicit drug cartels, but later was now synthethised from coal-tar. 
According to the World Heath Organization ( WHO), Codeine is the most widely and commonly used opiate in the World and is also regarded as the safest of all the opioids and seen as least addictive as well. The most common medical use of codeine is related to its ability to suppress chronic cough, henc…