The atmosphere at the indoor hall of the Gombe International Conference Centre, Gombe State, venue of the Opening Ceremony of the 96th Annual National Conference of the PSN, came alive as the octogenarian Publisher of Pharmanews, Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, was recognised for setting an unprecedented and historic record, through his 50 years of unbroken attendance of the Annual National Conference of the PSN.
Speaking on the achievement, Prof. Cyril Usifoh, president of PSN, appreciated Atueyi for his dedication and consistency, while urging other pharmacists to emulate his steadfastness and dedication.
Usifoh specifically expressed his profound gratitude to all the pharmacists who were 80 years and above at the conference, namely Pharm. Tunde Enemmo (86), Sir Atueyi (84), Pharm. Deji Osinoiki (83) and Prof. Bona Obiorah (82), for their overwhelming support from the beginning of his administration and for deeming it fit to attend the 96th conference despite their age.
While he asked them to stand up for recognition, to the applause of the over 2000 delegates at the opening ceremony, Usifoh specifically appreciated Atueyi’s 50 years of uninterrupted attendance, adding that the record is both historic and intimidating.
Speaking in the same vein, Governor Mohammadu Inuwa Yahaya, in his welcome address commended the octogenarians for having the love of the profession at heart, adding that they are good examples to the unborn generation.
“One thing I have come to understand and appreciate more is that some of you are retired but not tired, if not so, I can’t imagine someone over 80 years coming this far to attend a conference of this nature, not minding the stress and rigours, and to the extent of attending for 50 years. It is pure love for the pharmacy profession”, he said.
Responding through an exclusive interview, Atueyi disclosed that he attended his first PSN conference in Lagos in 1973 at a time he was the Assistant Secretary of the Lagos Branch of PSN, saying his uninterrupted 50 years attendance of the conference was only by the grace of God, as there were challenging times.
The Pharmanews Publisher, who was the editor of the Pharmaceutical Journal, from 1974-1978, during the PSN presidency of Pharm. C. U. Efobi and Chief Ayo Fasanmi, further attributed his feat to divine providence, adding that from the time of Dr UNO Uwaga (2003 to 2006), the presidents have appreciated him for the support Pharmanews has been offering to PSN and for his continuous attendance of the conferences.
On the factors that aided his consistent attendance of the conference for 50 years, Atueyi noted that he likes consistency in doing anything he considers good, adding that he looks for the things he can do easily and well and focuses on them.
“When I was attending FIP conferences, I was consistent for many years, later I started attending the NAPPSA conference from its inception in 2007 in Houston, Texas. In 2004, I started writing inspirational books every year, and today, I have 22 books. Meanwhile, Pharmanews has been published every month for 44 years, so I like consistency”, he said.
Continuing, the octogenarian expressed his desire to continuously attend the PSN conference, adding that he has not reached his limit. “By the grace of God, I am looking forward to hitting Akwa Ibom state next year. I want to participate in the elections of the next president, meet some old and young colleagues and keep expanding my knowledge and experience,” he stressed.