By Daniel Adaji
Colleagues and mentees of Prof. Hassan Salihu Isah of Department of Chemical Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University, have poured encomiums on the distinguished academic at a send-forth and valedictory lecture organised by the Department to mark his formal retirement after serving the University for 46 years.
The memorable event took place at Clinical Skills Laboratory Lecture Theatre, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika, Zaria.
The valedictory lecture, entitled “Out-of-Hours Clinical Laboratory Tests in Nigeria: Are They Redundant?”, was delivered by the celebrant himself in which he chronicled his personal profile and development as well as leadership challenges and experiences in the course of his career.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kabiru Bala, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Danladi Amodu Ameh, described the retiring Professor as a “distinguished academic” who raised many scholars.
Prof. Bala expressed the University’s immense gratitude to Prof. Isah for what he described as “selfless services” rendered to the University and humanity in general.
He thanked the Department of Chemical Pathology for organizing such a befitting occasion, saying that even in retirement both the University and the Department would be consulting him from time to time to tap from his wealth of experience.
In his remarks, the Provost, College of Medical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. M.S. Shehu, equally described Prof. Isah as a versatile teacher who mentored many staff of the Department of Chemical Pathology.
The Provost also described him as the father of the Department, recalling that when many academics from the Department were leaving for Europe and America in the 1990s, Prof. Isah remained to help develop the University.
Prof. Shehu, who expressed delight that the valedictory lecture was the first in the Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, stressed that the College, particularly the Department of Chemical Pathology would continue to tap from Prof. Isah’s wealth of experience.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Ahmed Hamidu Umdagas, who was represented by the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the Hospital, Prof. Ahmed Bello, described the occasion as a show of the tremendous respect they had for the retiring Professor.
The CMD, who said that Prof. Isah’s great contributions to the growth of medical profession in Nigeria and beyond were profound, also described the celebrant as the driving factor for all the successes in the Department.
Prof. Hamid explained that Prof. Isah was always known to be an academic who taught and discussed with his students what he knew best, stressing that the gathering to celebrate him was well deserved.
Former Chief Medical Director, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, who was Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, Prof. Abdulmumini Hassan Rafindadi, recalled how Prof. Isah adopted him as his son in the Department of Chemical Pathology when the then Prof. Afolayan left the Department for University of Ilorin.
Prof. Rafindadi also recalled that when he was Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, Prof. Isah introduced him to the then Kogi State Governor who assisted him tremendously in the running of the University in the state.
Other personalities who spoke at the occasion, included the Dean, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Prof. Abdulaziz Hassan; the Rector, Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, Dr. Salisu O. Musa; Prof. Peter O. Anaja; Department of Chemical Pathology; and Prof. Ibrahim Sambo Aliyu, Department of Chemical Pathology.
They paid glowing tributes to the retiring professor, saying that Prof. Isah had played a great role in shaping their academic life.
The Head of Department of Chemical Pathology, Dr. Hafsat Maiwada Suleiman, who read the citation of the celebrant disclosed that Prof. Isah authored five books and had to his credit a total of 50 journal publications.
Born at Akwu in Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, Prof. Isah joined the services of Ahmadu Bello University as a Graduate Assistant at Department of Chemical Pathology in 1976 after graduation from University of Ibadan in 1975 with Second Class Upper Division in Biochemistry.
The Provost, Kogi State College of Education, Ankpa, Dr. Mohammed Kabiru Ibrahim and Prof. Audu E. Dangana, the representative of the Vice-Chancellor, Kogi State University, Anyigba as well as many other dignitaries attended the event.
In his response, the retiring Professor thanked the University for being gracious to him by way of approval of study leave, research grants, secondment and leave of absence which had positively impacted on him.
He also acknowledged that Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital had been magnanimous in approving his appointment as a Consultant, the first non-medical, in 1987 which provided him with life-changing and tremendous opportunities.
Prof. Isah thanked all staff of the Department of Chemical Pathology for their understanding, comradeship, cooperation and love over the years which had contributed to the growth of the Department both in academics and provision of diagnostic/consultative services.
The retiring professor, who accompanied to the occasion by his wife, was presented with plaques and other gifts by the Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Department of Chemical Pathology, Kogi State College of Education and Kogi State University, Anyigba.