As the chain of activities for the 80th birthday celebration of the Pharmacy Icon and Giant, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi continues today, the Great Ife Pharmacy Alumni Association (GIPAA) has conferred on the celebrant a new title – Life Patron of GIPAA, in addition to his numerous titles.
The GIPAA members during the special virtual birthday celebration held on ZOOM Thursday, also presented a Bronze portrait of the consummate achiever.
Attended by distinguished pharmacists locally and globally, the GIPAA virtual celebration of Adelusi-Adeluyi @ 80 was graced by dignitaries like the President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, Pharm. (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa; GIPAA President, Chief Bunmi Olaopa; Pharm. Bruno Nwankwo; Pharm. Kunle Tometi, representative of pharmacists in Diaspora; Former PSN President, Pharm. Olumide Akintayo; Pharm. Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi, founder and chairman Pharmanews Nigeria Ltd; Pharm. Prof. Mbang N. Femi-Oyewo, chairman Board of Fellows, PSN; Prof. Lere Baale; Dr. Lolu Ojo; Pharm. Joke Bakare, MD MedPlus Pharmacy; Pharm. Victor Osibodu, Chairman Vigeo Limited, Pharm. Jimi Agbaje, among others.
Hosted by Pharm. Lekan Asuni, Chief Olaopa welcomed all participants to the occasion and noted the importance of the event, as the celebrant is an indispensable figure in the history of Nigerian healthcare system, more importantly Pharmacy.
He acknowledged that no amount of celebration will suffice in appreciation of the selfless efforts of the celebrant, who has mentored several pharmacists and other professionals in the country to the peak of their career. Thus, he gave room for tributes from a few participants to eulogize the special roles of the quintessential pharmacist in their lives and profession.
Speaking on the personality of Juli as he is fondly called in Pharmacy circles, Ohuabunwa said although Juli is older than him, but he is privileged to share some features with him. He likened their similarities to that of John the Baptist and Jesus, as one was greater than the other.
Firstly, he narrated how he won the prestigious Juli Pharmacy Prize in 1976, after which he worked in Pfizer, where Juli had previously worked. “I became the president of PSN as was Juli many years ago.
“Juli spoke of his calling, which is building of men and when I hear people like Ifeanyi Atueyi speak so well of his mentoring of him, I have no doubt about the confirmation of that ministry.I want to congratulate him Juli on the auspicious celebration and it is my prayer that we shall still celebrate you at 85. 90, 100 and after 100 is left for you to decide”, ohuabunwa said.
Pharm. Bruno Nwanko also read his special tribute to the celebrant as he narrated their unique experience during their days on campus and postgraduate experience.
“We met in Catholic Student affairs, Students Union and Pharmacy affairs. It was convenient for me to align with Juli in those days because our relationship really paid off well.
“Juli did quite a lot of things in Nigeria and Pharmacy. He initiated the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy even in his 70S, played a major role in the West Africa Region for pharmacists and Pharmacy. Like I always say tell you, keep the flag flying, the youths are behind you. Remain the mentor of the young and welcome to the league of octogenarians”.
For Pharm. (Sir) Atueyi, a very close friend of the celebrant, Juli was the angel sent to show him the way to his life-time occupation.
Atueyi revealed how God has used Juli to guide him to the founding of Pharmanews. He said in 1974, Juli invited him to be the editor of the Journal of Pharmacy, a position he initially turned down, but due to the persuasion and assistance of Juli, he excelled in the office, which also paced way for the establishment of his own business.
“From 1974 to 1978, I put in my best into the journal and it generated a lot of revenue for the Society. I changed the name from Journal of Pharmacy to Nigerian Journal of Pharmacy and also increased the frequency from four times to six times a year.
“At that time, I never thought of running my own journal but I managed the journal as if it was my personal business. By divine guidance, I found myself establishing Pharmanews in 1979. When I received the vision for Pharmanews, the first person I shared the vision with was my wife and the second person was Juli. From that beginning to date, he has been my mentor. Through Juli, I discovered God’s plans for me”, Atueyi disclosed.
Prof. Mbang Femi-Oyewo on her part spoke about the compassionate and caring nature of Juli, who she described as a trail blazer not only in Pharmacy, but in Law, Rotary International, and other areas of life.
She mentioned his gentle and humble spirit, forgiving heart, prayerfulness, and all these notwithstanding his status of a world class citizen.
Responding to all the accolades, the humble soul appreciated GIPAA for the wonderful programme in celebration of his 80th birthday, but mentioned that he wouldn’t allow all the praises to sway him away.
He urged the association to keep celebrating Pharmacy in all spheres, which will enhance the image of the profession in no small measure.
He specially expressed his gratitude to the organisers of the programme, in persons of Prof. Baale, Dr Ojo; Chief Olaopa, and a host of others who have played significant roles in the long birthday celebration.