It was an atmosphere of celebration at the conference hall of Nike Lake Resort, Enugu, venue of the opening ceremony of the 35th Annual National Conference of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), as Pharm. Olanrewaju Jonathan Ofi, from Ekiti State and Pharm. Atiku Abdul from Kano State, were announced winners of the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Ahmed Yakasai Community Pharmacy Practice Support Award.
Speaking on the presentation of the award, which was inaugurated in 2014 to provide financial assistance to community pharmacists, chairman of the Award Committee, Pharm. Abdulsalam Yinka Aminu reiterated the resolve of the committee to ensure transparency in the selection of beneficiaries of the award.
“We were unable to give out the award in 2015 due to some issues that cropped up, even though a winner emerged, but today, the two recipients have been unveiled,” Aminu said.
Aminu, who was the immediate past chairman of ACPN-Lagos, stated that the award was a timely and significant intervention for community pharmacists, considering the capital-intensive nature of establishing and running a community pharmacy.
He noted that such gestures, like the Ahmed Yakasai award, could go a long way in encouraging more pharmacists to be more committed and dedicated to the profession.
“Pharm. Yakasai, to me, is undoubtedly a man with a large heart, as he singlehandedly decided to start giving out the award without discussing with anybody and without thinking of getting anything in return.
Yakasai has, through the presentation of the of the award in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to three pharmacists outside of his state and tribe, portrayed himself as a truly forthright and detribalised Nigerian.”
Expressing his delight, the 2016 winner, Pharm. Abdul, who practises in Kano, described the award donor, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, as a man who truly has the love of Pharmacy at heart.
Abdul, who attributed his selection as a beneficiary of the award to divine intervention, added that he never envisaged winning.
“I am highly delighted because I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. “So I sincerely appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I therefore hope that this kind of gesture continues. I also call on other stakeholders in the profession to imbibe this gesture as it will encourage people to continually strive towards the development of the pharmacy profession. I thank the committee for doing a thorough job in the selection.”
In his own remarks, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, who said he had no intention to contest for PSN presidency when he took the decision three years ago to give 300,000 naira every year for the next ten years, further disclosed that he organised the award to give back to the profession that had benefitted him over the years.
“I felt I have to contribute to the development of Pharmacy from the token God has given to me and that is why I decided to give a meagre3 00,000 naira only for the next ten years. And to further prove my love for Pharmacy,” Yakasai said.