Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa’s relevance in the pharmaceutical industry and his role in shaping the socio-economic fortunes of Nigeria were brought to the fore as he celebrated his 70th birthday on 16 August, 2020.
A series of activities were lined up to mark the event. In a special virtual ceremony broadcast via zoom, Neimeth brought together distinguished pharmacists and prominent Nigerians from different walks of life as they honoured their former CEO and current president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).
The event, graced by over 200 dignitaries, witnessed an avalanche of nostalgic reminiscences about the excellent strides of Ohuabunwa, first as a pharmacist and as a boardroom guru, whose contributions to both the pharmacy profession and the Nigerian socio-economic spaces remain phenomenal.
Professor Lere Baale, chief executive officer of the Business School Netherlands (BSN) recounted the heroic imprints of Ohuabunwa’s leadership style, for most of the 39 years in which they had known each other. He also applauded the PSN president’s ability to nurture relationships into mutually-beneficial platforms for the sustenance of innovation, mastery, authenticity, guts and ethics. He likened Ohuabunwa to a colossus who has always dared the odds to attain uncommon heights in life.
“Mazi has demonstrated that turbulent times build great leaders who apply the following five rules: speaking with candour, prioritising of activities, bearing in mind that adversity breeds opportunity, responding instead of reacting and then, giving kudos to those who perform well,” Baale said.
In another tribute, Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, publisher of Pharmanews, extoled the virtues and exemplary leadership qualities of Ohuabunwa.
Atueyi recalled how the founder and former president of the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association had stepped in to forestall what would have been an embarrassing experience for the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas (NAPPSA) during one of their conferences in the USA.
According to the Pharmanews boss, the unforeseen absence of the keynote speaker was becoming an issue, until Ohuabunwa was asked to deliver the keynote address. And to the amazement of all, he presented a very good paper within that short notice.
“Ohuabunwa can multitask; he is full of energy; a strong man and his strength is not coming from the carbohydrates that we take but from the word of God,”Atueyi said.
Other dignitaries who graced the event included former INEC Chairman and Professor of Pharmacognosy, Maurice Iwu; CEO of Neimeth, Mathew Azoji; Professor Chinedum Babalola, Vice Chancellor of Chrisland University, among others.