Finally, Dr. Samuel Manuwa’s people honour him

Martins Oloja


At long last, the Ilaje people in Ondo state defied a biblical warning to the effect that prophets are rarely honoured at home as they honoured Dr. Samuel Manuwa on Saturday September 16, 2017 at the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Housein Akure, Ondo State Capital.

It will be recalled that in my article here titled, “Dr. Samuel Manuwa, UCH Rebirth and Ailing President” on Sunday May 14, this year, I had attempted to establish a possible nexus between neglect of Nigeria’s first specialist doctor and decay in healthcaredelivery in the country. Here is an excerpt from the article that provoked the history made in Akure just last week.

In the course of reading books of lamentation on the poor attitude of state officials and indeed Nigerian leaders who have always either taken ill in office or lost some loved ones, I stumbled on another interesting story of a pioneer medical icon whose efforts at establishing the University Teaching Hospital (UCH) Ibadan would have been celebrated if the pioneering advantage of the UCH too had been sustained by successive administrations. I mean here that I have detected a correlation between the neglect of Dr. Samuel Ayodeji Manuwa, one of the brains behind the successful takeoff of UCH in 1956 and the neglect of the health sector in Nigeria since 1966 when the wasters called “military governments” imposed a unitary system on this hapless country.

I have read a great deal of the exploits of the late Sir Manuwa, an Ilaje man from Itebu Manuwa in the old Okitipupa Province in Ondo state now in the riverine area of Ogun state. That is why it is curious why the great man’s name was not listed among top 100 men that were honoured when Nigeria did its centenary celebration in 2014.

No one from Ondo state where he has his roots to Ogun state where his children and grand children now hail from fought to get him listed. The organisers of the centenary celebration did not dig deep to honour the great man who was markedly instrumental in the efforts to establish the UCH, Ibadan, once listed among the best five teaching hospitals in the old Commonwealth. They always forget him (Manuwa) as they always forget the importance of the simple saying that the health of the people is the wealth of the people. They always forget the role of Dr. Manuwa in the establishment of health-care delivery system by the colonial administration….
(https://guardian.ng/opinion/dr-samuel-manuwa-uch-rebirth-and-ailing-president/).

Yes, on that historic Saturday in Akure, Ilaje Medical Doctors Association responded to my call when when they inaugurated the “First Sir Samuel Manuwa Memorial Lecture” delivered by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole represented by a former CMD, UCH, Ibadan, Professor Abiodun Ilesanmi. The Chairman of the ceremony was Professor Emeritus, Oladipo Olujimi Akinkugbe represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Ondo State University of Medical Sciences, Professor Odunayo M. Oluwatosin.

The cynosure of all eyes on the occasion was a daughter of the late Sir Manuwa, Professor (Mrs) Aderonke Manuwa-Olumide. She is a Professor Emeritus, wait for this, in that same University College Hospital, Ibadan. One of the remarkable papers, “Sir Samuel Manuwa: A Medical Genius Ahead of His Time” was delivered by a Professor who knew Manuwa, Professor N.E Udonwa, of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. Dr. Elihu Medunoye who was Chairman of the Organising Committee is also Chairman of the Ilaje Medical Doctors Association that organised the first memorial lecture. To God alone be the glory for what Inside Stuff has touched off through The Guardian on Sunday. Details later.

In this article:
Samuel Manuwa


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