Oniyangi: Painful exit of an icon

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If not for the inevitability of death, human beings would have loved to remain inseparable with their loved ones especially those that are of imeasurable values in terms of significat contributions to humanity in all ramifications.

The rich would have spent their affluence and influence to silent the God appointed killer, while the poor would have found alternative means of living forever despite their poor state of living because the hope for a better tomorrow would keep them going.

No matter highly placed, no matter your good deeds, no matter your bad deeds, if you are aged or young, unsolicited guest will definitely visit all souls one day.

Since the death cannot be stopped to perform the job he knows how to do best at any appointed time, the most important thing is for human being to serve his/her Creator diligently and do good to fellow human beings.

Going by life and time of an Ilorin born Medical Doctor, Abdulkadir Salman Oniyangi, his family, friends associates, Ilorin community, Kwara and Nigeria would have loved he still remain alive because of his invaluable contributions to development of his state and country at large, but death remains inevitable for all humans.

The elder statesman passed to the great beyond on Thursday, 16 January 2020 after living a remarkable life at 86 years and he was committed to mother’s heart on Friday at his GRA residence amidst hundreds of sympathizers who paid him the last respect.

Here is the profile of the man who had come, saw and conquered: Dr Abdulkadir Salman Oniyangi was born on July 31, 1935. He attended Okesuna Primary School, Ilorin, between 1940 and 1945. From there, he proceeded to Ilorin Middle School from 1946 to 1948.
Also, he was a pioneer student of Government College, Keffi in 1954, after which he left for the Nigeria College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria from 1955 to 1958. He later went to the University College, Ibadan from October 1958 to 1965. The school was known as College of London University. He did his post- graduate course in Medicine from 1968 to 1970.

He left for St Bartholomew’s Hospitals in London between 1971 and 1974 as an obstetrics and gynecology doctor. He was one of the first Northern Nigerian doctors. He later went to the Institute of Management and Public Administration in Accra, Ghana in 1976.

The academic and professional qualifications he possessed included Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (1954); Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS), London (1965); postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynecology (1969-1974); certificate in family planning, London (1973); certificate in public administration from Ghana (1976).

Dr Abdulkadir Salman Oniyangi worked as an Assistant Chemist in the Department of Chemical Pathology and Forensic in Kaduna in 1957. He was a house officer in the General Hospital, Kano from 1965 to1966. He was a medical officer in the General Hospital, Ilorin in 1956, medical officer in General Hospital, Okene from 1966 to 1967, medical officer, General Hospital, Gusau (1967), medical officer, General Hospital, Offa from 1967 to 1968.

He served as the registrar, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University College Hospital, Ibadan from 1968 to 1970, after which he became the registrar, Department of Surgery, University College Hospital, Ibadan in 1969. He was the registrar, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St Bathelom Hospitals, London from 1971 to 1974.
He also served as senior maternity superintendent, Maternity Hospital, Ilorin 1974 to 1975. He was also the principal medical superintendent, Ilorin General Hospital from 1975 to 1977;

He was the head of the medical team to Saudi Arabia, after which he got appointment as Permanent Secretary in the Kwara State Ministry of Works and Transport in 1979. He also served as Permanent Secretary in the Kwara State Ministry of Health from 1983 to 1984. He was also a member of the Board of Directors, Northern Nigeria Development Company, Kaduna (1984-1985. He became Secretary to the Military Government, and Head of Service, Kwara State, from 1984 to 1985 under Group Captain Salaudeen Latinwo. He voluntarily retired in 1985.

After that, he started his medical hospital, known as Hassanat Memorial Hospital, with 50 beds. He was a member of the interview and assessment panel for the post of director of Ilorin University Health Services. He served as INEC National Commissioner from 2010 to 2015 in Pleateau, Nasarawa and Kogi states.

He was the founding president of Ilorin Students Descendant Union, which metamorphosed into the Ilorin Emirate Descendant Progressive Union. He married to Alhaja Memunat from the Idiagbon family is now the oldest surviving member of that family and blessed with six children – two boys and four girls.

Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq; pioneer Grand Khadi of the state, Justice Abdulkadir Orire; Chief Judge of Kwara State, Justice Suleiman Durosinlohun Kawu; Prof Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem; Senator Sadiq Umar (Kwara North); Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara State, Mallam Attahiru Garba Madami were among the senior citizens and hundreds of Muslim faithful who attended the burial rites (janaazah) of the elder statesman.

Mallam AbdulRazaq had earlier in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye described his death as the end of an era.

AbdulRazaq further described Dr Oniyangi as a trailblazer in the medical profession and a distinguished public administrator with impeccable character.

The governor noted that the contributions of the frontline medical doctor to the development of Kwara State are well documented for history.

The governor’s condolence message reads: His Excellency commiserates with the entire Oniyangi family of Ilorin on the death of the elder statesman. Mr Governor reckons that Dr Oniyangi was a trailblazer in the public health sector in not just Kwara State but in the entire northern Nigeria. He was in fact one of the first medical doctors in the entire northern Nigeria.

“Dr Oniyangi, former Head of Service and Secretary to the Military Government in Kwara State between 1984 and 1985, was also a distinguished public administrator who served the state and Nigeria meritoriously.

“His tenure as the President of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) was very outstanding. He also served quite honourably as a national commissioner at the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“His death at this moment of our history is painful. We pray the Almighty Allah to grant him al-jannah and stand by his family now and always.”

The Chief Judge of Kwara State, Justice Suleiman Durosinlohun Kawu described him as a very exemplary father.

He further described the deceased as a gentleman, religious and true family man who carried everybody along in the scheme of things.

Justice Kawu noted that when Dr Oniyangi served as the state SSG and INEC commissioner, he performed wonderfully well.

The jurist called on people in the positions of authority to emulate Dr Oniyangi’s perseverance and piousness.

“He did his best in the service of the the state and the federation and again I pray that Allah will admit him into Alijanat Fridaous”.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara State, Mallam Attahiru Garba Madami said that “he was a mentor to us but death is inevitable, we thank God for his life because he had left an indelible footprint in the sand of time”.

Madami described the deceased as man of integrity who had served the state and country at large with all sense of commitment and sincerity.

Written by Mashood Zarumi

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