By: Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The Vice-Chancellor, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State; Professor Adeniyi Olayanju, has expressed the intention of his University to partner the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), towards actualising the objectives of both universities while the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta has also stated its determination to collaborate with FUNAAB in the areas of establishing a teaching hospital as well as breast cancer research and treatment.
According to Professor Olayanju, who was until his appointment, the Dean, Student Affairs of FUNAAB, stated that he holds FUNAAB in high esteem, most especially, in the areas of sustainable agriculture, product development and raising graduate-farmers. Addressing the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin; Professor Olayanju had stated that, “it is in recognition of your capacity and our passion for collaborative drive for continuous improvement in agricultural practice, as a panacea for hunger, poverty and economic downturn that we have made this visit, to initiate partnership processes towards actualising the objectives of the universities, for the ultimate gain of the society.”
“This is my first outing in an official capacity, as the third substantive Vice-Chancellor of the Landmark University, Omu-Aran (to FUNAAB); which I proudly call my home. The essence of which I place premium on, by paying a courtesy visit to the leadership of the University that gave me ample platform for academic and professional experiences that earned me this Vice-Chancellor’s appointment in a foremost private and agriculture-based University in Nigeria. We are happy to be here and open to progressive ideas that will transform agricultural and educational landscape of Africa”, he added. He said the collaborative effort between both universities would engender practical delivery of life-transforming products.
Professor Enikuomehin, however, assured Landmark University that FUNAAB would be available to give what was required to make the partnership successful. He added that he was pleased to welcome Professor Olayanju back to FUNAAB, saying “it is our pleasure to play host to one of our own. We find it difficult to veer-away from acknowledging that Professor Olayanju is our own. It is really a pride to us that he was found worthy to be appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of Landmark University. I want to say clearly that we will be available to give all that is necessary, to make you succeed, as the Vice-Chancellor of Landmark University, knowing fully well that the partnership would also benefit us.” The Acting Vice-Chancellor admonished Landmark University to come up with detailed terms and conditions for the proposed partnership with the assurance that FUNAAB would welcome such since Professor Olayanju already knew what FUNAAB stood for.
While presenting courtesy gift items to the visiting Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of FUNAAB, Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele, said she was glad to read of Landmark University’s drive to commercialise agriculture, as she charged Professor Olayanju to walk-the-talk. Present at the occasion were the Chairperson, Committee of Deans and Directors/Dean, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), Professor Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale and the Deputy Director II, Vice-Chancellor Office, Mrs. Toyin Dawodu, among others.
Similarly, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, has lauded the leadership of the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, for its desire at converting FMC into a teaching hospital with the full support of the University, while observing that “It was only someone that does not mean well that will want to remain restricted. We want to be bigger than we are. We want to be more contemporary than we are. We want to be more relevant to this system and community than we are. So, if this is able to come into reality, you can count on us to be partners with you. Whatever it entails, please, count us in”.
He added that the University would key into the innovation, to make the partnership a huge success in terms of research collaboration. The Acting Vice-Chancellor assured the visiting team from FMC that the University would soon put in place, a team, to be headed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele, to discuss how to identify and evaluate areas of short, medium and long term collaboration, using the available funds. Professor Enikuomehin added that the team would also seek other options of getting funds and look into the existing structure, for maximum utilisation.
Professor Enikuomehin further appreciated the hospital management for its support and the series of healthcare accorded members of staff and students of the University. According to him, “It is exactly four days to this time last year; when we had our first crisis that took us months and which affected us in a tangible way. Even when we had the resources, we could not get there. But with just a mere phone call, they (FMC) attended to the issue and gave their best. Thanks, once again. There was no route to the Camp junction because it was blocked and people were scampering for their lives”, while soliciting that the hospital should continue to give its best to FUNAAB.
Earlier, the Chief Medical Director of FMC, Professor Adewale Musa, lamented the increased cases of breast cancer among young people, saying that the ailment was fast becoming aggressive despite all the available treatments and drugs. He identified research gap, as one of the factors responsible for the persistence of the problem, declaring his readiness to fight the deadly disease in conjunction with the University.
“You see, medicine is dynamic. We believe that we must work with what goes on in the world. You must have heard that I am doing a research on breast cancer among Whites and Blacks. When I was in Sagamu, we discovered that younger ones were coming up with breast cancer and we believe that this thing (disease), is becoming aggressive, despite all the treatments and drugs we gave them (patients). So, I wondered; what is really the problem among Blacks that is making it so aggressive. So, we thought of going to the North and I am doing quite a lot of research on it, investigating the case among Whites. It is like the chemistry of breast cancer among Blacks is quite different from that of Whites. Yet, most of the drugs and research have been done on Whites”. He added that the huge benefits await the proposed collaboration with FUNAAB, stressing that FMC cannot operate in isolation regarding improvement in rendering quality health services.