DR. SOTA OMOIGUI'S STIRRING CALL TO ACTION IS A VISION OF A
NEW AND RESURGENT NIGERIA
It is with great pleasure that I introduce Dr. Sota Omoigui, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan (CoMUI) Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) alumnus of the class of 1983, a remarkable individual, innovator, distinguished scholar, and an unwavering advocate for good governance and accountability.
Along with Professor Babatunde Ogunnaike and nine other Nigerians, Dr. Sota Omoigui was bestowed with the Citizenship and Patriots Awards, as part of Nigeria's 63rd Independence Day celebrations, by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at a ceremony held on October 5, 2023.
Born in the city of Ilorin, Dr. Sota Omoigui completed his early education with distinction, obtaining school certificate in 1976 and higher school certificate in 1978 from the prestigious King's College, Lagos. His insatiable thirst for knowledge led him to pursue a career in medicine, culminating in the award of the MBBS degree from the Nation’s First and Best, the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan in 1983 - a milestone he reached with sheer dedication and academic excellence.
After completing his internship and National Youth Service at Specialist Hospital and Military Hospital, Benin City, Dr. Omoigui ventured across the Atlantic to the United States in pursuit of further academic and professional quests.
His journey in the U.S. has been nothing short of amazing.
Dr. Omoigui embarked on a diverse and distinguished career in medicine, focusing on Paediatrics, Anaesthesia, and Pain Medicine. He honed his skills and expertise through an internship in Paediatrics, a residency in Anaesthesia, and a subspecialty in Pain Medicine and Regional Anaesthesia, all at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. His commitment to excellence led to his board certification in Anaesthesia, with a coveted subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine.
Beyond his clinical accomplishments, Dr. Omoigui has made significant contributions to the fields of Pain Pharmacology, Anaesthetic Pharmacology, Inflammation, and Inflammatory response. His renowned drug handbooks are published in six languages and used by specialists globally. In 2007, Dr. Omoigui proposed a ground-breaking theoretical law on the inflammatory origin of pain, which has been cited extensively in the medical community, further cementing his reputation as a thought leader in the field. His passion for democratizing medical practices has led to pioneering techniques that make spinal pain treatment more accessible, ensuring that primary care physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners can provide effective care.
Dr. Sota Omoigui's research work extends to sickle cell disease. Building upon the work of Hahn and Gillespie in 1927, who suggested that hypoxia caused the sickling of red blood cells, and the 2003 work by Hargrave et al., which concluded that low nocturnal oxygen saturation is significantly associated with frequent painful vasoocclusive crisis in Sickle Cell Disease, Dr. Omoigui's publications document a 90% decrease in sickle cell crisis when oxygen is administered at night or during daytime sleep in the presence of specific triggers. His advocacy includes a call for a standard of care protocol for sickle cell multi-organ ischemic crisis, similar in timeliness to protocols for acute coronary syndromes and stroke. The protocol suggests that a patient's physician or hospital should have a standing order for the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) ambulance team to administer, at home, the first dose of opioid and anti-inflammatory injections the patient has previously tolerated, along with oxygen, pulse oximetry, and vital sign monitoring. EMS teams are already authorized to administer oxygen and drugs, including morphine, to patients with acute coronary syndromes.
Dr. Omoigui holds patents for groundbreaking inventions, including the audio-capnometer monitor and continuous non-invasive hemometry (measurement of haemoglobin). He also holds 5 United States patents for the Xchange Mall – Super App.
Beyond his professional achievements, Dr. Omoigui's heart beats for Nigeria. He is a passionate advocate for good governance and accountability in his homeland. His commitment to making a difference is evident through his sponsorship of a young woman from internally displaced persons in Taraba State, Nigeria, supporting her journey from secondary school to completing her university degree.
Dr. Sota Omoigui is a co-author of the Nigerian National Anthem, which was adopted in 1978. This anthem replaced the previous national anthem, "Nigeria, We Hail Thee." The lyrics of the anthem are a combination of words and phrases taken from five of the best entries in a national contest. The music for the anthem was composed by the Nigerian Police Band under the direction of Benedict E. Odiase. Dr. Sota Omoigui's contribution to this anthem stands as a lasting legacy, for which he and other awardees are being recognised.
While thankful for the award, Dr. Sota Omogui has written an incredible tribute to Professor Babatunde Ogunnaike in his press release which is fully published in this release.
Dr. Sota Omoigui's heartfelt tribute to Professor Babatunde Ogunnaike, co-author of the Nigerian National Anthem, serves as a poignant reminder of the immense talent and potential that Nigeria possesses. His tribute not only celebrates the legacy of Professor Ogunnaike but also serves as a powerful rallying cry for Nigerians to come together to strive for a brighter, more equitable future.
Professor Babatunde Ogunnaike is not a distant name to the CoMUI community. He is the brother of a CoMUI MBBS Class of 1982 alumna, Dr Modupe Sokunbi MBBS FAAP, Vice President of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association, North America (ICOMAA NA). Her tribute to her brother is also shared in this release in honour of Professor Ogunnaike whose life is an enormous inspiration to us all.
I must add that the recognition of our national anthem's creators, after 45 years, highlights the need to acknowledge the contributions of individuals who have dedicated their lives to our great country. As I read Dr. Omoigui's piece, I was deeply moved by his call to action which, I believe, resonates with a shared vision for a new and resurgent Nigeria, one marked by transparency, accountability, and the pursuit of justice. He eloquently addresses the pressing challenges facing Nigeria, from corruption to unemployment, emphasising the urgent need for reform and transformation.
Dr. Sota Omoigui's life and accomplishments are a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and service to humanity. His legacy as a distinguished scholar, physician, advocate, and inventor will continue to inspire generations to come.
We are extremely proud of his award and of our dear Professor Babatunde Ogunnaike.
I invite you to read Dr. Omoigui’s press release as well as the heartfelt tribute of Dr. Modupe Sokunbi to her brother Professor Babatunde Ogunnaike.
“The labour of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain”
Professor Olayinka Omigbodun FAS
Professor of Psychiatry and
Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan
Read the Full Excerpt of Dr. Sota Omoigu’s Press Release below:
October 5th, 2023
Dr Sota Omoigui MD – Coauthor, Nigerian National Anthem
Recipient of Federal Republic of Nigeria - Citizenship and Patriot Award [https://politicsnigeria.com/tinubu-to-honour-11-citizens-with-citizenship-and-patriots-awards/
On behalf of all the co-authors of our national anthem, both the living and the departed, I offer our sincere gratitude to Dr. Garba Abari, the Director General of the National Orientation Agency and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the Citizenship and Patriots awards given to us today. I regret that I am unable to be present in person for the award because of the very short notice given.
It has been 45 years since we wrote the national anthem in 1978, and this is the first national recognition that we have received. In 1976, as a teenager, in King’s College, Lagos, I responded to a call for entries into a competition organized by the Federal Ministry of Information to replace the Nigerian national anthem. The words and phrases of the five winning entries were combined to form the anthem. The words were put to music by Deputy Commissioner of Police Ben Odiase, the then director Nigerian Police Band.
The new anthem was officially adopted in 1978. We were all supposed to receive a prize but none of us got it. I would subsequently attend the University of Ibadan, and the graduate with the MBBS Class of 1983 of the College of Medicine.
My thoughts this day are with our co-authors who have shed their mortal garbs, slipped the surly bonds of earth, and transcend into immortality, including Prof Babatunde Ogunnaike and John Ilechukwu as well as the music composer and director of the Nigerian Police Band Ben Odiase. They waited long for this day but never lived to see it.
HEARTFELT TRIBUTE TO PROFESSOR BABATUNDE OGUNNAIKE
I remember on this day particularly my co-author Prof Babatunde Ogunnaike whom I got to speak with a few times in the last several years before his passing. He was a prodigy in his field of Chemical Engineering and rose to become Professor and Dean of Engineering at Delaware University. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and authored books, including the 1280-page “Process Dynamics, Modelling, and Control” globally acclaimed textbook which he co-wrote with Professor Harmon Ray. He held the William L. Friend chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His research both at DuPont and the University of Delaware in systems dynamics, mathematical modelling, and process control had profound implications in fields as diverse as biology, bioengineering, medicine, applied mathematics, statistics, and chemical engineering, solving many difficult issues in these fields as well as in industrial processes. He authored four books and over a hundred publications in major academic journals and held a patent and a vast array of awards and honours. Among these awards were the University of Delaware’s Medal of Distinction, his election to the US Academy of Engineering, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the National Academy of Inventors.
Outside the world of academia, he was a talented guitarist and drummer. In his younger days, he played field hockey and was a member of the 1977 national Nigerian hockey team. He emigrated and was lost to the diaspora by the time the anthem came out in 1978 and lost to immortality on February 20th, 2022. In a 2012 interview, he said he feels both pride and sadness whenever he hears the anthem. “It reminds me of unfulfilled promises,” he says. “Nigeria has so much potential, and the words of the anthem were meant to reflect this.” On the anonymity given to writers of the anthem, he had this to say; “everyone knows that Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics to the American national anthem (even I, a recent immigrant, know this). At the very least, the people of Nigeria should be told who wrote their anthem.”
I have listed Prof. Ogunnaike’s achievements above to show just one example of the talent and skills lost to the diaspora from a Nigeria that continues to fail its citizens. The diaspora community all over the world is full of hundreds of thousands of talented Nigerians who have left the country to help build other nations.
I celebrate my co-authors, Segun Aderibigbe, and Dame Eme Akpan who together with myself have lived to see this first national recognition of the writers of our national anthem.
I wish to mention and express my gratitude to all those journalists whose publications kept alive the history and story of our national anthem. These include Alex Marshall, a reporter with The Independent, a newspaper in the U.K, C’tiana Bibish Elad of Afrifamu, Los Angeles, California, Lekan Otufodunrin of The Nation Online, Nigeria and Dr ‘Deyemi Akande PhD, an Art and Architectural History Lecturer at the University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Like Professor Babatunde Ogunnaike, I also feel pride and sadness when I hear the anthem.
When I wrote my words for the anthem, it was my dream for the country to move forward and take its place among the great nations of the world. But all that potential has been hijacked and degraded by a political leadership that constitutes a criminal enterprise. Many of our people now wonder if we were ready for independence.
OUR LEADERS HAVE FAILED US
They have failed to serve the fatherland with love, strength, and faith. They have failed to create one nation bound by freedom, peace, and unity. They have failed to be guided by God and are unable to teach our youth in love and honesty to grow as they neither have love nor do they have honesty. They live corruptly and have failed to live just and true.
Our nation is awash with corruption, with impunity, and no one is accountable for their actions. Political offices are purchased by the highest bidders who pay using the spoils of their pillage and plunder. The resources of our nation have been hijacked by political elites who like vampires have sunk their fangs into the jugular of the country slowly draining the life out of it. Unchecked corruption is a corrosive destroyer of nations. The amount lost by corruption in the oil sector alone exceeds $15 billion annually. That money is enough to revamp the dilapidated infrastructure nationwide and create jobs and employment opportunities. Our people groan under the yoke of this corruption that does not allow them to breathe. They suffer in poverty with a currency that has undergone a 1000% devaluation since we wrote the national anthem. There is both food insecurity and personal insecurity with kidnappings of our school children and killings of our citizens. When food prices exceed the salary of a worker, men sell their dignity and women their honour.
The November 2022 National Bureau of Statistics Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) survey by the Federal Government of Nigeria revealed that almost 133 million Nigerians, or 63% of the population, are “multi-dimensionally poor,” meaning they suffer simultaneously from multiple disadvantages, including a lack of access to clean energy, housing, health care, water, and sanitation, according to the survey of nearly 57,000 households. That’s up from 54% in 2018, and more than any other country, including India, which has seven times more people. Meanwhile, the political elites steal and embezzle hundreds of millions of dollars from the nation’s commonwealth with no consequence. In fact, they are rewarded with more plum political positions and the opportunity to steal more.
OUR YOUTH ARE HOPELESS AND HELPLESS
Our youth have become hopeless and helpless and are dying in the sea and the desert trying to escape the country for a better life elsewhere. Those left behind see the greed, looting, and pillaging by their leaders, have no opportunities for economic empowerment, and resort to internet scams, and fraud, prostitution, banditry, and kidnapping to make ends meet. Thus, innocent people both inside the country and globally are made to pay the price for the corruption of our leaders. The Nigeria of our youth that we knew of in 1978 sadly no longer exists. It has been replaced by a rapacious system of governance that is unsustainable and if unchecked, spells doom for the country.
We must turn this country away from the precipice of disaster. And we need to do it now. Our population increases by 7.2 million a year and we are projected by the United Nations Population Division to be the third most populous country on earth, with a population of 730 million, – right behind China – by the year 2100.
THE WAY FORWARD
Corruption occurs at the intersection of temptation and opportunity. You must separate the man /woman from the money. We must empower our civil service, provide them a living wage, and hold them accountable for any collusion in the diversion of funds by political leaders. Those who commit such crimes must be prosecuted and jailed. Transparency and Accountability must be the order of the day. The era of running government and public institutions like a secret society must be over. The budget as well as all allocations and disbursement of funds must be published on the Internet in real time. All monies received must be accounted for.
There is a need for a civilian Office of the Inspector General (OIG) manned by honest men and women, to have an oversight function and root out waste and fraud at all federal, state, and local government institutions, departments and agencies. Officials of the OIG will have the powers of the police to arrest and prosecute all those persons found to be aiding and abetting fraud and waste.
There should be an immediate audit of all assets of all public, judicial, and institutional office holders in the last 30 years. Assets that cannot be accounted for by their salaries will be seized and they should be prosecuted and sent to jail. All corruption that rises to the level of economic sabotage should be punished by the death penalty. Those who steal from the people’s commonwealth with such rapacious impunity destroy lives far more than the murderers and armed robbers like the notorious Ishola Oyenusi that we executed in Bar Beach on September 8th, 1971, in the Nigeria of my youth.
We must declare a national emergency for power generation to provide electricity to all citizens within the next six months. Reputable international contractors should be brought in to implement new power generators including, coal, hydroelectric, natural gas, solar, geothermal and wind, within six months. The unemployment rate in the country in 2022, was a record high at 33.3 %. That means one third of our working age citizens are unemployed. The unemployment rate of our youths is 53%. This should be addressed as a national emergency. It is an absolute requirement that we provide power generation for economic empowerment. Small businesses cannot be viable if they must provide and pay for generators and diesel to conduct their business. Our youths and our people are hardworking creative and full of entrepreneurial spirit. We must provide an enabling environment for all Nigerians to succeed. We must prioritize and decentralize provision of electricity, roads, pipe borne water, and social amenities. A government that has failed to provide a viable economy for its citizens should immediately cease to be an obstacle to the economic empowerment of those same citizens. Again when the poor cannot eat, the rich will not sleep.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, you are at a fork in the road. You can choose the wrong side and continue the corrupt and decadent practices of your predecessor President Muhammadu Buhari and ensconce yourself with the crooked and the indicted. I take the indulgence to remind you that there is no plan that you can have, no minimum wage, no palliative, no refinery project, no road construction, no electrical power plant, no schools or hospital projects, no white paper or yellow paper that can succeed in the corrosive environment of corruption and lack of accountability. As they say, insanity is when you repeat the same thing over and over again and expect different results.
Your wrong decision would make you go down in history as one of our worst presidents, leading Nigeria on a one-way downhill trip to perdition, and presiding over the dismemberment of a country that used to be called Nigeria.
Or you can choose the right side and be the greatest president of all, by making a U-turn, getting rid of the corrupt and indicted men in your administration, implementing the road map to good governance described here and confounding your critics.
History will thus be kind to you and remember you as the saviour of the nation. The choice is yours to make.
To save Nigeria now is a task that must be done. We have no other country. To my fellow countrymen and women, you are never too small or too big, too young, or too old, to stand up for a Nigeria, where there is opportunity for all. For a Nigeria where your grades in school are based upon honest work and not on favours done for lecturers or teachers. For a Nigeria, where you can get a job on the strength of your achievements and not based upon who you know or where you are from. For a Nigeria where there is 24-hour electricity, pipe-borne water, good roads and good schools, great hospitals and high-speed internet. For a Nigeria where quality education and medical care are available to all irrespective of ability to pay. For a Nigeria, that has one factory in every town and not one church or mosque on every street. For a Nigeria where your achievements are limited only by your dreams and your hard work. For a Nigeria where life and limb are secure, wherever you go. For a Nigeria where you get justice based upon the merit of your case and not based on the bribe you give. For a Nigeria where you can trust the police to do their job without fear or favour. For a Nigeria where resources are for all and not for a chosen few with their families. And for a Nigeria that can take its rightful place amongst the great nations of the world. So my fellow countrymen and women, do not lose hope, we had a Nigeria like that once and we must and will bring that Nigeria back.
Psalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning”.
God bless Nigeria.
Arise O Compatriots!!! Nigeria’s Call Obey!!!
Dr Sota Omoigui MD
Tribute to Professor Babatunde Ogunnaike
By Dr. Modupe Atinuke Ogunnaike Sokunbi
Dear Family, Loved Ones, and Friends,
It is an honour and privilege for me to pay tribute to a GIANT of a man – our cherished brother Professor Babatunde Ogunnaike. My name is Modupe Atinuke Ogunnaike Sokunbi – Tunde’s younger sister.
Great tributes have poured in from all over the world and all walks of life as to the giant of a man that Tunde was: A man after God’s heart; a beloved son; a loving husband; a devoted father and grandfather; a cherished brother; an excellent teacher, colleague, and mentor; a loyal friend and inspiration to many.
To us, the Ogunnaike siblings, he was simply BROTHER TUNDE. Growing up in the palace of Orimolusi of Ijebu Igbo, he was a hearty, lovable, precocious child who brought endless joy, fondly called BABSRUNDU. His curiosity brought him into close quarters with the rear wheels of a giant dump truck as a young child in Ibadan. God spared his life because he had great things in store for Brother Tunde.
Brother Tunde has always been a huge blessing in my life – loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.
A constant presence in my life…He was there for every milestone. It is hard to imagine not hearing that distinctive voice or seeing that priceless chuckle and smile.
From teaching me the multiplication table on the back of my Apex Mills elementary notebook to inscribing my name in beautiful calligraphy on all my Queen School Ibadan Boarding School clothes and supplies… From giving me wise career advice.
For being the most wonderful Uncle to all my children and attending every graduation ceremony from high school to medical school and embracing my husband as a brother.
I will forever cherish those precious moments spent in Delaware going down memory lane of our childhood years on Agbeja Street. My recollections of course were colourful, embellished, and always brought so much laughter and joy. The daily texts with 15 hearts (for the 15 years God granted Hezekiah) but I acknowledge the supremacy of God.
Bros Tunde – Our prayer warrior, our memory keeper, our family historian.
May your love of God and legacy continue to touch the hearts of people everywhere.
You’ll NEVER WALK ALONE. WE TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN.
But today, as we walk a different path.
IN THE QUIET MOMENTS
IN A FAVORITE QUOTE
IN A WELL-REMEMBERED SONG
WE HEAR YOU
WE SEE YOU
WE LOVE YOU
As my dad often recited Alfred, Lord Tennyson:
“Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?
I have lived my life, and that which I have done,
May He within Himself make pure! But thou,
If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul.”
May the soul of our most brilliant, compassionate, loving, generous, child of God rest in perfect peace, and may God grant him a beautiful crown and wings.
“Beautiful, bright light” were Brother Tunde’s last words as he transitioned into Glory.
Dr. Modupe Atinuke Ogunnaike Sokunbi
CoMUI MBBS Class of 1982
Vice President ICOMAA NA
Pictures of Professor Babatunde Ogunnaike with his family