By Kazeem Ayinla
Monday 30th of January, was the closest contact I had with the Turaki of Ilorin and Kwara Central Senatorial candidate and flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kwara state, Mallam Solihu Mustapha.
It was at the 40th year anniversary of the Michael Imoudu National Institute of Labour, Studies ,Ilorin during a workshop organized by National Union of Allied Health Professional (NUAHP) and I was privileged to be amongst the participants.
Turaki while speaking to the participants in attendance, expressed readiness to partner the institute and other agencies with a strong pledge to contribute to improving and ensuring equity in the health sector, he noted this with the common saying that “he who wears the shoes knows where, when, and how it pinches.”
The senatorial hopeful also used the opportunity of the occasion to embark on a facility tour of the institute to have a first hand information about the state of affairs
Prior to that event, Turaki have been contributing to the improvement of Nursing Education in Nigeria.
For instance, Mallam Solihu Mustatpha (The Turaki of Ilorin) and Alhaji Hamza Usman (The Talba of Ebira Land) had, before now, jointly donated books, clinical simulation, and e-learning materials (worth of millions) to equip the nursing skills laboratory and the library of the School of Nursing, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, towards the realization and success of her affiliation to the University of Ilorin as a degree awarding school.
The Turaki was represented at the commissioning on the 21st of November, 2022, by one of his aide , Mallam Umar Salihu Agboola Balogun.
At the well attended event, as UIITH NANNM Chairman, I seized the opportunity to engage the senatorial candidate through his aide by drew his attention to the plights of Nurses at the unit.
At the occasion, I highlighted the poor working conditions of the Nigerian Nurses amongst other challenges and appealed to the Turaki for adequate support of Nurses friendly legislation when he ascend the senatorial seat..
Citing the theme of the 2022 Nursing day “Nurses: A voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and Respect Rights to Secure Global Health”, I on behalf of my members also requested an open door policy and constant engagement with Nurses in his constituency particularly in UITH if he emerged victorious at the poll.
In his response, Mall Umar, who represented the Turaki noted all of the yearnings of NANNM and recounted the special characteristics of his principal, Mall. Solihu Mustapha, assuring the association that the success of Turaki Project is not only for Kwarans.
He also said the Turaki appreciated the enormous contributions of nurses to the health sector and decried the huge challenges they face.
The Turaki’s representative urged nurses not to relent on their oars across the country.
“Education is the best legacy that can ever be bestowed on the future of any great nation, and my principal is not restricting that to any single sector”, he said.
“We are particularly happy to partner the workforce in the hospital, and we can’t afford to neglect you and channel resources rightly, he added.
After listening to the Turaki’s representative, I was full of gratitude to the Turakin Ilorin and the Talba of Ebira land for their kind gestures while we prayed for more to come the ways of nurses.
From the recent scenario that played out, one can conclude that the Turaki Ilorin is alive to the needs of his people, at least from the angle of a nurse privileged to engage his spokesperson on health issues
Finally, as witnessed on the 30th of January 2023, at the event earlier mentioned, in addition to several impacts he has made over time, one can say the Turaki greatly mean well for nurses.
Nurse Ayinla is the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) – UITH Chapter.