OPINION: Aishatu Gobir: An Elegant Daughter of Ilorin Emirate @ 54. By Abubakar Imam

Date: 2020-10-22

Forgetfulness is a very common phenomenon. It is human. It is part of our every day life. It is,yet, an unavoidable occurrence that can sometimes make one finds himself in regrettable situations. It has made many candidates to miss promotion. It has hindered the educational advancement of many students and brought about many forms of social dislocations. None of those who will read this piece can claim not to have forgotten something in the past and can be sure that he would not forget again.

Honestly, it has been my sincere desire to put something up in celebrating this amazon's birthday as I have done to so many other compatriots in appreciation of their landmark contributions toward the development of Ilorin Emirate. However, I completely forgot about the date commemorating the birth of this great woman until

I read some encomiums poured on her earlier yesterday on a social media platform she and I belong to .

Having been reminded as stated above, I decided that despite what forgetfulness has earlier made of me I should not allow it to rob me of the self imposed duty. It is better late than never. Hence, this hurriedly written and brief tribute to a woman with a beautiful mind with a retinue of achievements and one of those I have become so impressed of her humility and who have earned my respect for their benevolence, resilience, industry and patriotism.

As usual, I believe her compatriots, most especially the younger ones should know more about this outstanding and unrelenting patriot. We all need to know how she rose through the ranks to emerge as the first daughter of Ilorin Emirate who attained the very pinnacle of her enterprising academic career as a Professor in the field of medical science.

Prof. Aishatu Ahmed Gobir, a seasoned medical doctor, industrious academic, selfless community leader and exciting university administrator, was born into the illustrious Gobir dynasty of Ilorin on October 19,1966.Her father was the late Alhaji Amuda Ahmodu Gobir(1930-1980),a distinguished science teacher and outstanding technocrat, who was a nephew to the first Waziri of Ilorin, Alhaji Muhammadu Ajeigbe Gobir(1900-1960),while her mother hails from the equally reputable Galadima Ngari chieftaincy family of Ilorin.

Just as our own General Kolington Ayinla once sang "Ilu ni ile Iya,Orin ni ile Baba.Hamdan Wa Sukura ebami dupe" I am very sure that this elegant professional must be delighted that she is "Omo ola ni dile Iya. Omo oloye ni idile Baba",a fact that must have directly or indirectly contributed to her determined struggles towards ensuring that Ilorin is made better than she met it.

Young Aishatu started her exciting educational career at the Ansarudeen Primary School, Jos, Plateau State. She eventually earned her First School Leaving Certificate from the then Karuma L. S. M. B. School, Ilorin. The brilliance of this elegant lady earned her admission into the Federal Government Girls College, Bida,Niger State. It was from that College that she received her West African School Certificate in flying colours.

Following her successful completion of her IJMB Advanced Level programme at the School of Basic Studies of the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,Prof. Gobir was swiftly offered admission into the institution's Faculty of Medicine in 1986 from where she eventually earned her MB;BS in 1991.This glamorous academic also hold a Master of Science degree in Public Health from the prestigious University of London in 2006.

Prof. Gobir should forgive me in describing her as an "Obinrin bi Okunrin" as I do not know how else to present her for proving her intellectual versatility with her pursuit of another course of study not related to her "first love", medicine. She did by proceeding to pursue a Master's degree in Public Sector Management,a qualification she earned from the prestigious Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration,Accra. She ran the course between January and December, 2014.She had earlier obtained a Diploma from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2006.

This fascinating daughter of Ilorin Emirate is, no doubt, a meticulous professional. She is a distinguished Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh; the West African College of Physicians and the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria,among several others.

Sequel to the completion of her mandatory NYSC programme,Prof. Gobir worked in a number of places as a caring Medical Doctor. She served at the popular Garin Alimi Hospital, Ilorin, and later under the Kwara State Government.

Her determination to join forces with others towards qualitative medical education of training future generations of medical doctors and providing first class medicare services encouraged her to leave the services of the Kwara State Government. She consequently joined the services of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, in 1996.She became an Associate Lecturer at the Department of Child Health and Paediatrics, College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin in 1999.

Prof. Gobir is an highly productive scholar who had contributed to the training of innumerable medical doctors. She also has no fewer than 50 intellectually-stimulating and professionally exciting publications, which have been published in several respected local, national and international scientific outlets and are enjoying global citations by scholars and medical professionals across the world. She has also participated in no fewer than 50 conferences,workshops and seminars at home and abroad,which broadened her professional wherewithal and expanded her administrative dexterity.

The several high quality contributions of this great daughter of Ilorin Emirate to teaching and learning, research and community services informed her smooth career progression in the academia. She eventually attained the pinnacle of the career with a Professorial seat on Child Health and Paediatrics on October 1,2017.She is,at present,the Head,Department of Child Health and Paediatrics at the College of Health Sciences,University of Ilorin.

Despite her resourcefulness and tight schedule as a Professor in a field that has fewer practitioners, Prof. Gobir has never failed to exhibit her patriotism in so many ways and in positive manners and on different occasions. She is one of the moving spirits behind the formation and running of the Ilorin Emirate Medical Doctors Association(IEMDA).The IEMDA is a platform Ilorin born Medical Doctors are using as a means of offering free medical services to the less-privileged members of the Ilorin Emirate Community.

Apart from her prime position as the pioneer Vice-President of the Ilorin Anchor Men and Women, an evolving sociocultural organisation peopled by indigenes of Ilorin Emirate across all professions,she is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the hyperactive Ilorin Emirate Youth Development Association (IEYDA). Prof. Gobir is also a member of the Ilorin Emirate Durbar Committee.

The renowned scholar is a member of the Ilorin Emirate Community of the University of Ilorin. She is also a foundation member of the Ilorin Emirate Professors Association. Prof. Gobir is as well a prominent member of the Committee working on the reconstruction of the ancient Gambari "General" Mosque. I can also confirm that she is a good friend, collaborator and "accomplice" of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union on her developmental agenda.

Without a modicum of adulation ,I sincerely believed that members of the present and future generations have a lot to learn from this great daughter of Ilorin Emirate. She is not only dutiful but very resourceful and resilient. Her love for Ilorin and general human progress is worthy of emulation. One thing I have also found very impressive and admirable about her is her readiness to help her compatriots in every way possible as I cannot forget her total commitment to saving the life of the late Dr Alasela when he was on the sick bed. When the young man eventually passed on, the countenance of Prof. Gobir alone at the burial rites of the late young scholar was enough evidence to convince anyone of the uncommon humanity in Prof. Gobir. She was visibly sad and terribly disturbed as a dutiful mother,aunt,sister and daughter would on the loss of a sibling or close relations, notwithstanding the peculiarity of the medical profession to which she belongs.

Described by her students and trainees as a "no nonsense teacher" and yet respected by mentees, patients and their relations for her profound motherly care ,Prof. Gobir's consistent contributions and accomplishments deserved being appreciated. She is, no doubt,a pride to her family and the larger Ilorin Emirate community. She is also one of the three daughters of Ilorin Emirate who are Professors at the University of Ilorin and one of the five female Professors produced by Ilorin Emirate so far.

Without any fear of contradictions, I want to say that if all Ilorin-born professionals are as demonstrative of their concerns and love for Ilorin Emirate as Prof. Gobir and some of her colleagues, in words and in actions, our community would have been better. We certainly need more of such heroines not only in medicine but also in every field of human endeavour whose impressions will convince the rest of the world that we are not inferior to any other community in any aspect of human existence.

I must also say that since she recognised yours sincerely as a comrade in community development, the respect and advice she often accorded me has been quite enormous and too much for someone of my calibre and standing. Beyond that ,she is clearly unpretentious. Her Yoruba diction anywhere would tell you that an Ilorin woman is having the floor. She blows our peculiar Ilorin diction with pride as if she has never sojourned outside the city of Alimi.You will never see her playing an anonymous role in any Ilorin event unlike many others as she always make her presence felt positively and for the love of our people.

But by the way, is it not high time our mothers,aunties,sisters in-law and sisters formed an enduring umbrella sociocultural organisation for the women folk across the Ilorin Emirate?It is time. It is possible. It is realisable and it is necessary if for nothing else but for our girls to be encouraged to aim higher and higher and for the love of our people. Our successful female compatriots should realise that the more organised and educated the women folk of a community is, the more progressive, prosperous and peaceful such a community becomes. "Anti" Aisha and others ,please hit the ground running as now is the time.

May I ,therefore, join her relations, friends,colleagues and students and even patients in celebrating this distinguished professional and seasoned academic on her 54th birthday. May Allah grant her long life,sound health,more wisdom ,peace of mind and fulfilling career breakthroughs; and every other great things she wishes herself.

Imam is National Publicity Secretary, Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union


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