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Date: 2010-02-02 06:27:45
President Yar'adua now ICCON Fellow


A watershed was recorded in the life of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria (ICCON) on Tuesday, May 13 2007 at no other place than the Presidpres1.jpgential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja.

The ICCON Secretariat was agog with elaborate preparations for the event weeks before the day itself. There was the production of souvenirs, dispatch of invitations and other relevant correspondences to delegates on the Institute’s delegation, writing of speeches to be presented by ICCON Governing Council, arrangement of press coverage etc.

On the eve of the induction, the Institute’s Governing Council had met at the Conference Room of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Maitama, Abuja to fine-tune arrangements already made for the event.

The following day, members of the ICCON delegation were already seated in the Council Chambers by 1.00 p.m. when President Yar’Adua walked in. His entourage included the Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji (Ambassador) Babagana Kingibe, the Chief of Staff to the President and other Presidential aides. Top government functionaries who were already seated with the ICCON delegation included the Minister of Education, Dr. Igwe Aja Nwachukwu and the Acting Minister of Health, Dr. Hassan Lawal.

On the ICCON delegation were members of the Governing Council, some Fellows of the Institute including a Member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Niyi Akinyugha, the President and Registrar of the Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN), Messrs. G.A. Sanni and A. K. Haruna respectively, the first President of ICCON, Prof. Oladele Osibanjo, among others.

The ball was set rolling by the Acting Minister of Health, Dr. Hassan Lawal whose Ministry supervises ICCON. The Minister formally introduced ICCON to Mr. President, highlighting the establishment of the Institute by Decree 91 of 1993 as a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Health, as well as the mandate of ICCON as the statutory regulatory body for the professional practice of chemists in Nigeria.

Dr. Lawal further stated that in line with ICCON’s tradition of recognizing and honouring its distinguished members, the Institute resolved to honour Mr. President “for distinction in both his academic and political careers.” He traced the trajectory of Mr. President’s career, from his acquisition of postgraduate qualifications in analytical chemistry to his sojourn in the academia as a lecturer, through his adventure into the political terrain as Governor of Katsina State and his subsequent ascent to the Presidency.

The Acting Minister caused a stir that gave way to a resounding applause when he declared that “… As an analytical chemist, Mr. President has carefully analyzed the problems of Nigeria and filtered it down to the seven-point agenda!” He went ahead to formally declare the resolve of ICCON to “acknowledge and honour one of its own, in the person of Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, with the Fellowship of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria.”

Having set the tunic, Dr. Lawal then invited the ICCON President. Mr. Harry C. Okolo to lead the process of induction.

In his speech before the formal investiture of Mr. President, the ICCON President, Mr. Okolo expressed profound delight at the privilege of having audience for the first time with “a sitting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” (See the full text of Mr. Okolo’s speech somewhere in this edition.)

After Mr. Okolo’s speech, a citation on President Yar’Adua was read by the ICCON Vice-President, Dr. Eniang Nkang, thus setting the stage for the investiture proper.

Assisted by the ICCON Registrar, Mrs. Gladys Eke, Mr. Okolo proceeded to formally induct Mr. President. The ICCON President commenced the induction rites by administering “the professional oath of chemists” on Alhaji Yar’Adua, who caused a stir by insisting on re-reading the entire oath document after it was read by the ICCON President, for which he (Yar’Adua) got another resounding applause.

Mr. Okolo then proceeded to decorate President Yar’Adua with the ICCON badge, before presenting him with his membership certificate and a plaque signifying his induction into the Fellowship of the Institute.

Another stir went through the Council Chambers when President Yar’Adua was presented with a giant portrait of himself, a beautiful piece of artwork with inscriptions highlighting the uniqueness of the chemistry profession.

Responding after his investiture, President Yar’Adua expressed profound appreciation to the Council and the entire membership of ICCON for the honour done him. (See the full text of Mr. President’s speech somewhere in this edition).


dsc_6354.jpgPresident Yar'Adua, his Deputy, Dr Jonathan, Minister of Labour and Productivity/Ag. Minister of Health, Dr Hassan Lawal and Minister of Education, Dr Igwe Aja Nwachukwu posing for a snapshot with ICCON Governing Council, Fellows and other dignitaries.
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