In what many described as a remarkable moment in the Nigerian pharmacists’ circle, professional colleagues, friends and relatives gathered to celebrate the 90th birthday of Pharm. (Chief) Bayo Ogunyemi, a fellow and former president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).
The colourful ceremony took place at the banquet hall of NAN Media Centre, behind the National Arts Theatre, Lagos on May 22.
In attendance were the dignitaries: Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, chairman, Juli Pharmacy; Pharm. Ade Popoola, chairman, PSN Board of Fellows; Oba Funsho Ogunkoya, monarch of Ijebu-Iseyin; Prof. Oladele Akila (retired), a veteran obstetrist and gynaecologist; Pharm. Deji Osinoiki, CEO, Deyo Pharmacy and Mrs Yetunde Ogunyemi, wife of the celebrant.
Arguably the oldest pharmacist in Nigeria, Pharm. Ogunyemi described by many as resilient and innovative, was the president of PSN from 1985 to 1988.
Eulogising his virtues, Pharm. Popoola said that the entire Board of Fellows felicitates with him and his family.
“Not many pharmacists have attained this age. He is about the oldest visible pharmacist we know because we can see him. We know there could be others in some parts of the country. I think the closest one would have been Pharm. Festus Ukueke, who just passed away yesterday at the age of 89. Pharm. Ogunyemi has done well and is worthy to be celebrated,” he enthused.
Sharing the same views, Adeluis-Adeluyi remarked that the celebrant enjoyed the grace of God in his younger days. As a former PSN president, he was quite active, dependable and professional in his approach.
“He tried his best to bring peace, progress and stability to the society. Even in times of challenges, his leadership remained solid. My prayer for him is: may his evening be better than his morning and afternoon. May God continue to grant good health of mind,” he said.
According to Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, former managing director of Neimeth International and a fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (FPSN), he once served with Ogunyemi, back then, as assistant editor of Nigerian Pharmacy Journal.
“He was the then president. Unlike the other big men, he has a full presence. He was not easily lost in the crowd and exuded dignity. As a leader, he was very articulate and strongly fought for recognition of the profession,” he said.
Describing him as quite instrumental, Ohuabunwa declared Ogunyemi as a very strong professional pharmacist.
“During his presidency, the profession was well regarded,” he intoned.