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Author Topic: Academy of Science inducts Nigerian scientists  (Read 7171 times)
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Francis Umeoguaju
Expert in Bioscience Issues
Posts: 657

« on: November 27, 2010, 09:33:51 am »

October 9, 2010, will go down memory lane in Scientific history in Nigeria as the day 14 great Nigerian scientists were honoured and inducted into the Nigerian Hall of fame for Science. It was at the 7th Grand Award Night of the prestigious Nigeria prize for Science, unarguably regarded as Nigeria’s own Nobel prize,” held at Eko Hotel Lagos.
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“The decision to honour these eminent leading lights of science whose records of achievements stand out like a light house in the dark was a culmination of three months extensive consultations and scrutiny by eminent panelists empowered by the Nigerian Academy of Science.” says Elkanah Chawai, Deputy Editor NLNG, magazine, at the event.
The panel was led by the president, Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe, former Vice Chancellor University of Lagos; other members are Prof. Ekanem Braide, former Vice Chancellor Cross River University of Technology; Sunday Bwala, Professor of Neurology, University of Maiduguri, among others.
In a speech read by the President, he expressed delights to the compatriots and said that their labours will not be in vain “the biographies and works of these great scientists will be written and hung at the National Gallery of Art with their picture’s for posterity. They have been and will continue to be a source of inspiration and encouragement to the nation and their works cannot be forgotten”, says the president. The 14 leading lights inducted into the Nigerian Hall of fame for science with their meritorious achievements were:
Adenike Abiose A professor of ophthalmology and once a director of the National Eye Centre in Kaduna, Nigeria, Abiose worked with other professional colleagues for several years in the operational use of Mectizan for Onchocerciasis control. She was later awarded the Mectizan” Award in 2003 for commitment to Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) control at the national and international level.
She has been involved in the work of the Nigerian National Blindness Prevention Programme, National Onchocerciasis Control Programme, the Onchocerciasis Control Programme in West African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
Oluwafeyisola Sylvester Adegoke He is an adept and versatile geologist with unshakable background in biological and physical sciences. He is known for his research work on bituminous sands in Southern Nigeria. Adegoke contributed to the development of science in the country, serving in different technical and administrative capacities that championed his area of forte, geology. He is a founding member of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Nigeria Science Association and served as editor of the journal of Minning and Geology.
Oladipo Olujimi Akinkugbe, Akinkugbe pursued vigorously a career in tropical medicine and became a professor at age 35, the youngest among his stock in Africa in 1968. Since then, he has made monumental contributions to medicine especially in the area of management of hypertension. He has published, edited and authored numerous theses, books, journals and reports on high blood pressure, hypertension, stroke control, cardiovascular disease and kidney.
Gordian Ezekewe, Ezekwe was popular for his research on product development and his inventions in the 1960s and 1970s. He has been described as one with a never-say-die entrepreneurial and inventiveness spirit. He is also renown for his outstanding promotion of science and technology education. He served as the Minister of Science and Technology under General Ibrahim Babangida’s administration in 1989. He was pioneering chief executive of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
Thomas Adeoye Lambo, Lambo was the first western trained psychiatrist in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. He became famous for his work in ethno-psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology. He formulated a combination of western psychiatry and traditional, religious and native techniques and herbs to treat mental illness and introduced the Village Care System in psychiatry. At Aro village, where he started his own treatment services, he invited few traditional healers from different parts of Nigeria as healers to help administer treatment. His contributions earned him the position of Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organisation in 1973, an OBE in 1962 and the Haile Sellasie Research Award in 1977.
Samuel Layinka Ayodeji Manuwa, The history of medical sciences in Nigeria can’t be complete without the mention of Samuel Layinka Ayodeji Manuwa. As a promising student in the university, he received prominent awards at the University of Edinburgh. He was awards the Robert Wilson Memorial Prize in Chemistry and the Welcome Prize in Medicine.
He was not just apioneering Nigerian surgeon but an acclaimed skillful one at that. He invented an excision knife to treat tropical ulcers and contributed immensely to the establishment of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, the first medical school in Nigeria. He has served in various administrative positions including the Inspector General of Medical Services.
Idris Molhammed, Professor Idris Mohammed is a key figure in the medical sciences sector in Nigeria. His footprints are most visible in the area of immunology. He was always in the headlines for his fight against immunisable diseases like meningitis, measles, cholera and polio. He was chair of the National Programme of Immunisation (NPI) board. At University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), he was one of the pioneer researchers into HIV. He is being recongised for his original work in the development of polyvalent vaccine against meningococcal meningitis in Nigeria.
Chike Obi, There is no way anyone can disassociate Mathematics in Nigeria from Professor Chike Edozien Umezei Obi. He was the first Nigerian to bag a PhD in Mathematics. He established the Nanna Institute for Scientific Studies, Onitsha, in present day Anambra State and in 1997 worked to contribute to finding a solution to the four century old mathematical puzzle known as Fermat\s theorem.
He also won the globally-renowned Sigvard Eddund Prize for original work in differential equation from the international Centre for Theoretical Physics. He died on March 13, 2008. He is admitted for his monumental contribution to area of modelling with second order non-linear differential equations.
Ifedayo Oladapo, Professor Ifedayo Olawole Oladapo acquired his B.Sc degree in Civil Engineering with First Class honours in University of St Andrews in Scotland, winning the Gold Medal for the best student in civil engineering in 1959. after making impact in the Danish construction industry, Oladapo returned to Nigeria to actively participate in the design and construction of many concrete structures in Nigeria which he is recognised for. He was admitted into the Hall of Fame for Science and Technology in New York,made a Fellow and elected Vice-President of the International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineering in Zurich; Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers in London; and Consultant to UNESCO in Engineering Education. He is admitted for his contribution to growth of civil and structural engineering in Nigeria. He died in 2010.
Sanya Onabamiro, Professor Saya Onabamiro of the University of Ibadan is the most significant reference on the solution to guinea worm in Nigeria. As early as in the 1950s, he had set out a blueprint for the complete eradication of the scourge in the country and Africa as a whole.
He is honoured for his work on taxonomy and life cycle of Cyclops vectors of guinea worm disease,which formed the basis for development of strategies for the parasites’ eradication.
Benjamin Olukayode Osuntokun, Neurologist of international repute, Professor Osuntokun was Professor of Medicine, University of London, and the Royal Post Graduate Medical Schooland Consultant Neurologist, Hammersith Hospital, 1978-79. He became chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan in 1985. He was a member of several Pan African and International associations on Neuro-Sciences in 1982. He is published in Law ad Psychiatry in 1986. He is admitted in recognition of his contribution to his pioneering work in neurology in the country.
Victor A. Oyenuga, Professor Oyenuga was the first African in black Africa to obtain a Ph.D and later, D.Sc degree in the fields of Agricultural Sciences. He made pioneering and notable contributions to Nigerian agricultural science generally, being the first Nigerian to lay the foundation of modern scientific teaching and research laboratories in agriculture at the university level. More specifically, he made significant contributions in areas relating to the systematic elucidation of the nature, composition and utilisation (by man and livestock), tropical foods and feeding-stuffs, the rapid improvement of tropical livestock industry and or the productivity, chemistry, nutritive value and animal utilisation of pastures and individual pasture component.
Umaru Shehu, Professor Shehu has spent most of his life championing immunisation, figting childhood diseases and extending the frontiers of community health in the country. He is one of the pioneering academicians and practitioners in medical science and famous for his role in stemming poliomyelitis in Nigeria in addition to his extensive studies on the eradication of polio. He had served in various top administrative positions in the academia.
Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, A paediatrician and activist, Professor Ransome-Kuti was a popular health minister who contributed immensely to primary healthcare in Nigeria.
He was minister until 1992, when he became a World Health Organisation (WHO) executive. He held various teaching positions. In 1986, he won the Leon Bernard Foundation Prize, and in 1990 the Maurice Pate Award.
Each scientist was presented with a medal and a plaque with a citation read by the president.
Some eminent personalities present at the occasion include Amanyanabo of Grand Bonny Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple, Perekule (IV); Mr. Chima Ibeneche, MD/CEO, Nigeria LNG Bonny Island, Rivers State and his wife, Ugo Ibeneche; others include former presidents of the Nigerian Academy of Science Professors Alex Animalu, Gabriel Ogunmola; etc.
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