The Executive Chairman, Otukpo Local Government Council, LGC, Hon Bako Ejeh, has assured that the LG under his watch will establish a close bond with the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, FUHSO, for the peace and progress of the University.
Otukpo Chairman, made this declaration when he paid a courtesy call to the Vice-Chancellor (VC) at the Council chamber of the University, Otada campus. Accompanied by his council members, the LG Boss also approved the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy, (C of O) of the General Hospital, Otukpo, the designated Teaching Hospital of the University.
Hon Ejeh thanked the VC for the audience, reassuring FUHSO management to consider the issue of obtaining the Local government C of O on the said property as solved.
The Chief Executive Officer of the LG, said he was at the first University in the headquarters of Idoma land to congratulate the University Boss and to parley with him saying his appointment was divine, believing that the VC will take the institution to the highest level.
Hon Ejeh who expressed delight with the establishment of the medical University in Otukpo, hoped that candidates from the area who have suffered rejections by other Universities will secure admission into FUHSO.
The Chairman noted that he deemed it fit to visit having assumed the executive powers and pointed that since the institution is situated in his domain, there is a need for mutuality and assured of the LG’s support to the University to excel.
Professor Innocent Ujah, mni while responding, commended the LG Boss for his thoughtfulness, explaining that the University is for all Nigerians, using the Registrar, University Librarian, Provost, College of Medicine, and other staff of FUHSO who hail from other parts of the country as examples.
The Vice-Chancellor assured the Chairman of cordiality but noted that the feeling that all Idoma people should be employed at FUHSO is not feasible but other opportunities for collaboration could be explored. He said although the University is located in the LG, not everyone could work or be admitted and sued for understanding.
The first VC and the President of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, revealed that such fit has never happened in the history of Nigeria where an individual holds both a government appointed position and a crucial association such as NMA respectively, glorifying God for being able to do it excellently with a leadership legacy intact, Prof Ujah said.
He further added that, he’s the first and only Northerner to have held the position of Director-General, Nigerian Medical Research Institute, Lagos, for six years since its inception. The Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, informed that his appointment was not as a result of being an Idoma person but through a rigorous and competitive process, stating that he might not be the best, but God willed it.
The VC who was elated with the Chairman for recognizing the need to relate with the University expressed dissatisfaction with some stakeholders sitting on the fence, and called on them to emulate the Chairman his council members. Highlighting the ripple effect of FUHSO, the University Boss postulated that the institution is anchored on three goals which include – Education, Health, and Economy, EHE, currently impacting the lives of the immediate communities, and Nigeria as a whole.
The Idoma-born medical expert, avowed that when the first set of medical doctors of the University would be graduating, employers shall seek them due to the institutions’ reputation for quality education.
Prof Ujah maintained that the University is in the process of upgrading the general hospital, Otukpo, to the University’s teaching hospital but stressed the barrier of C of O to it and said if addressed will facilitate a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, between the University and the Federal Ministry of Health, the original owner of the hospital and stated that Consultants have been employed but couldn’t begin work until a formal handing over and thanked the Chairman for the approval to address the lacuna.
Prof. Ujah also observed that the history of FUHSO cannot be told without appreciating God for using the erstwhile Senate President – David Mark, whom he called the architect of the University and the Oweto-Abuja Federal road as few of many achievements of Senator David Mark. He confessed that the Oweto has simplified movement to and fro Abuja since the major road became impassable.
Professor Ujah propounded that the University is a driver of development in the communities, adding that FUHSO is a gift to Benue south senatorial district not only because it is the first University but a specialized one and the first of its kind in Nigeria.
The Vice-Chancellor assured the Chairman of cordiality but noted that the feeling that all Idoma people should be employed at FHUSO is not feasible but other opportunities for collaboration could be explored.
In a vote of thanks, the Registrar of the University – Mallam Aminu Abba, FIMC thanked the Council Chairman and his entourage while advocating such meetings from other stakeholders.
FUHSO DVC, Academics – Prof. Steve Abah; University Librarian – Dr. Kathryn Philip; Orator of the University and Director of Academic Planning and Control – Prof. Owoicho Akpa and Head of Audit, Mr. Richard Adah while Vice Chairman of the LG, Hon. Mrs. Grace Abine; Council Secretary – Hon Edache Onjefu; Leader of the Legislative Council – Hon Otache M., and others were part of the meeting.