Osun State Governor in Southwest Nigeria, Rauf Aregbesola has hosted the 85 Osun State University-Ukraine trained medical doctors who were sponsored abroad to complete their medical programme.
The state government had to send the students to complete their medical studies at the National University of Kharkiv, Ukraine, since the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria had not given accreditation to the course because there was no accredited teaching hospital in place.
Though National Universities Commission gave the College of Health Sciences of UNIOSUN accreditation, it was not still enough to train medical students, as they couldn’t sit for the first professional exam that would qualify them for clinical training after spending years in the preclinical classes.
Exhausting all other options, a decision was made to send the students to Ukraine to complete their medical education.
Describing the journey to the success of the new medical doctors, Governor said the decision was a difficult one.
“It was a difficult task. It was even hectic getting visas for 85 medical students to leave Nigeria for Ukraine. Though the state’s decision was criticised, blackmailed and scandalously portrayed by the opposition and mischief makers, our government remained undaunted, resilient, dogged and unshakable to make this feat.
“I did all in the interest of fairness and justice to ensure that the state fulfil her part of the agreement made to the medical students while advertising the sale of forms for the course. We did this because we believed that having admitted the students for the course which they applied for, it is mandatory on us to ensure that they become medical doctors.
“Despite the fact that these new doctors came tops in all their programmes, they have also shown extra-ordinary commitment to our own ideals of Omoluabi ethos”. Aregbesola stated.
One of the students Lateefat Oyeleye emerged overall best in the Ukraine University final examinations, with a percentage score of 95.6%. She is also the best medical students in the entire nation.
Miss Lateefat, with Matriculation Number 258184358 said she wanted to proceed to become a world class cardiologist.
It will be recalled that 98 students who were stranded were originally planned for, but 87 of them eventually made it to Ukraine because parents of the other remaining students secured other options for their children. Two of the 87 had finished their studies and returned earlier.
The Vice Chancellor, Osun State University, Professor Labo Popoola noted that no government has surpassed Governor Aregbesola’s feat in the education sector in the state.
“I am happy today to see these doctors but the greatest joy remains in the fact that Osun has made the record in history because no government on this planet has trained 85 doctors at a time in Nigeria.
”This is a challenge for everyone of us, particularly governments. It is a time to pursue vision that will impact greatly in people’s lives. Our governments need to be more conscious about the welfare of the people and do more at affecting positively on education which is the bedrock of development”.
In a remark, one of the parents, Reverend Reuben Fakolade commended Governor Aregbesola for seeing through the academic success of the young doctors.
He said the decision to take the medical students overseas in furtherance of their studies, depicts high sense of compassion and determination which Aregbesola has for education and people’s welfare.
He described Aregbesola as a detribalised leader without any form of bigotry, saying the Governor has proven to be a leader with no measure.
“As much as I am happy today for being one of the parents of the medical doctors who benefited from the state scholarship, I am also enthused that Aregbesola has proven his traducers wrong.
“The number of Christians among the then medical students now medical doctors sponsored to Ukraine by Aregbesola’s government shows that Mr Governor is a leader without tribal or religious prejudice.
By Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo