EXPLORING THE EXCITING WORLD OF
THE WONDER AGENTS CALLED DRUGS
It is with utmost humility and great delight that I stand here
this 26th day of July 2012 to deliver this august 68th
Inaugural lecture of our great University. I must say that I
am greatly overwhelmed by this mammoth crowd that has
gathered today in this dignified arena to hear the scientific
story I have to tell. To me, it is a great honour, and I am the
happiest for it.
As the name suggests, an Inaugural lecture in a university
setting, is designed to enable persons, newly endowed to
professorial chairs, introduce themselves to the university
community and indeed the whole wide world. In other
words, the raison d’être for this lecture is for the new
professor to showcase, as it were, his or her research profile,
expertise and focus. It also affords him or her, the
opportunity to project to the world, his or her idea of what
an ideal professional practice in his chosen field should look
like. Due to some exigencies however, this lecture has not
always been coming up immediately upon announcement of
the professorial endowment. In my own case, it is happening
six years after.
Vice Chancellor Sir, Distinguished professors, esteemed
audience, permit me at this point, to briefly feel the ebb and
flow of history on an idyllic boat as I stroll leisurely through
2.0 INTRODUCING THE INAUGURAL LECTURER
Born on 16th January 1964, to the humble home of two
delightful and consistent Christians, Mr. Godson
Onyemnado and Mrs. Justina Ukachi Ibezim, from
Ogadama, Ogada, Atta, Ikeduru, Owerri, Imo State, little
Master Emmanuel Chinedum Ibezim, grew up under strict
Christian discipline and atmosphere of love. His stint with
education started first at St Thomas Primary School Ogada,
and later at Ogada Community School, Atta, Ikeduru.
At school, he was by every standard, too tiny and that
earned him some, albeit, infamous derogatory names. For
instance, one of his primary school teachers then, Mr.
Iheriohanma, used to call him, Nwa oke nga m (my little
rat). At the primary school, he proved his mettle and was
consistently at the top of the class, to the admiration of his
numerous teachers but, understandably, envy of a few of his
class mates who did not see why such a ‘tiny thing’ should
be ahead of them in class. Of course, this attracted beatings
and other punitive treatments from the ‘big boys’.
He later gained admission, in 1975, to the famous Amaimo
High School, Ikeduru, for his secondary education, where
the story was not different either. His small size attracted
several other names – like ‘atom’, ‘Tom boy’ and the like.
At a time, he was the smallest in the entire school and the
Senior Prefect then, Mr. Jude Ugwoegbulem, when he
wanted to emphasize that his announcement involves every
student in the school, would always say, ‘This
announcement is for everybody - From the Senior Prefect to
Back then at Amaimo High School, the little Emmanuel
greatly got challenged by the academic prowess of his mates
- Francis Ononogbo of Ubomiri, Cleopas Nwagwu of
Ikembara, Ebenezer Emeribe of Umuoziri Inyishi, Nnamdi
Nwachukwu of Umuri Amaimo and John Onuoha from
Mbaise. Healthy rivalry later developed among these
intelligent students that helped to model them and today,
they are resounding professionals, making waves in their
respective fields. Some teachers who greatly impacted
Emma’s life then included Mrs. Cordelia – Nee Mbawike
(Chemistry teacher) and Mr. Iwuanyanwu (Biology teacher)
both from Amaimo, Mr. Ikwueze (Igbo teacher) from
Anambra, Mr. Boniface Nkwocha (Literature teacher) from
Owerri, ‘Ghana Pieces’ (Maths teacher) from Uzoagba, Mr.
Bruque (Physics teacher) and Mr. Oforha (Igbo Teacher).
His principals, Mr. H. N. D. Ebonine and Mr. A. O. Nzerem
also encouraged him a great deal.
The following uncles of his also made unrivalled impact in
this his early formative life and he owes a great deal of his
success in life to their wise counsels and encouragements:
Mr. Nathan Agubosim, Mr. Benjamin Agubosim, Mr.
Emeka Agubosim, Ven Ephraim Onwubuariri, Late Mr.
Jonathan Ibezim, Chief Longinus T. Ogide, Mr. Eddy
Ogide, Mr. Clifford Onwubuariri, Mr. Raphael Uwakwe,
Mr. Robert Ibezim, and Sir Remigius Nwaloka. His
maternal grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Felix and Abigail
Agubosim (both of blessed memory) really showered him
with great love and care.
Friends, they say, are like diamond, difficult to get, hard to
mould but easy to lose. His five special childhood friends -
Gozen (Nnadozie) Ekwueme, Ifeanyi Asiegbu, Dennis
Ezirim, Nnamdi Nwachukwu and Linus Mmezu, like
diamond, specially touched his life and he has been making
efforts not to lose them.
Knowledge is the fortress that protects mankind from the
tyranny of ignorance while ignorance is the dagger that
pierced the soul of truth. It is the early realization of this fact
that made Emma, in 1980, to seek and secure admission to
study Education/Chemistry at Alvan Ikoku College of
Education, Owerri, where he quickly got integrated and
made special friends like Mr. Moses Njoku. His Head of
Department then, Dr Mrs. Onyiuke (Now at Abia State
University) had special influence on his life. His stay there
was however short-lived as he immediately gained
admission to read pharmacy here in the University of
Nigeria, Nsukka, same year. He equally passed the interview
for civil service job in Imo State, but had to, understandably,
opt for further studies.
Late into his secondary school days, little Emma embraced
Christ through the instrumentality of his friend, Nnamdi
Nwachukwu (now Dr Nwachukwu). His Christian faith got
strengthened during his brief stay at Alvan and blossomed
when he entered UNN. The Student Christian Movement
greatly shaped his Christian destiny at the University of
Nigeria, Nsukka. Many thanks to his Christian friends –
Late Pharm Ozioma Okoli, Mr. Chijioke Ezeofor, Bro (Now
Prof) Augustine Ubachukwu, Mr. (Now Ven Engr)
Emmanuel Olewuezi, Mr. Ngozi Emenogu, Mr. Amos
Balami, Mr. Innocent Iorkyar and Mr. (Now Engr)
He graduated from the pharmacy school in 1985 and quickly
left for General Hospital Owerri, where he undertook his
one year mandatory Internship under the tutelage of Pharm
Dr Atasie and Pharm Ann Chilaka. Thereafter, he proceeded
to Jos for his one year National Youth Service Scheme
where he worked with the Christian Health Association of
Nigeria, Pharmacy (CHANPHARM) under Pharm. Dr
Brown. The Christian Corpers’ Fellowship which he served
as National Drama Coordinator provided a great platform
for Christian growth and evangelism. Christian friends like
Nosa, Tope, Andrew, Hillary, Anderson, Foluke, Late Dr
Erastus, Yinka, Funmi and Titi, were there to make the
service year very memorable.
He later got a job at Bauchi after his NYSC and had just
arrived at Bauchi to take it up when the Holy Spirit
expressly told him not to. He had to leave the job and
continued the search until he eventually pitched his career
tent with JOMAF Pharmacy, Kaduna.