Dr. Saliu Oyelami, Medical Director of Shifauk Hospital, Akure, capital of Ondo State, has emerged as the 2020 Nigerian Muslim Health Person of the Year.
Dr. Oyelami, who is currently the Amir (President) of the Ondo State chapter of Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria (IMAN) was adjudged the most qualified candidate for the prestigious award, tagged, #MNAwards2020.
#MNAwards is an acronym for Muslim News Nigeria Awards, celebrating Muslim achievers who have excelled and made the Muslim community proud in Nigeria and globally.
Now into its third year, the 2020 edition of the Awards features additional categories honouring Muslim professionals in media, health, law, finance and entertainment industries.
He was considered worthy of the award for his immense contribution to the community by the IMAN Committee, led by its National President, Prof. Ibrahim Oreagba in collaboration with the Nigerian Muslim Personalities Awards’ team, which was chaired by its founder, Mr. Rasheed Abubakar.
In a statement jointly signed by Prof. Oreagba and Mr. Abubakar, and issued on Tuesday, 9 February, 2021, the Okua, Odo-Otin Local Government, Osun State-born medical practitioner was described as an ambassador of Islam with a history of selflessness and sacrifice in health delivery, especially in Ondo, Osun and Kwara.
Mr. Abubakar, who initiated the awards in 2018 to celebrate unsung Muslim achievers, said investigations carried out by the committee showed that the winner participated in countless public awareness programmes, including the campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic, for the community.
According to him, “Let me use this medium to formally inform the Nigerian Muslim community and the rest of the world that there are so many Muslim health workers who go extra miles in saving lives and rendering medical services to their respective communities. We have many of them in different states across the Federation but, Dr. Oyelami’s achievements are exceptional.
Dr. Oyelami has been prominent in the COVID-19 fight since the pandemic hit Nigeria on February 27, 2020. He has organised many awareness programmes in mosques and communities. He also holds regular enlightenment talks on radio and television stations. Consequently, he was appointed as the IPC Lead for private hospitals in Ondo State COVID-19 Medical Team,” he added.
Prof. Oreagba speaks…
Also speaking, IMAN President, Prof. Oreagba described the winner as an Islamic ambassador who emphasises the power of dua (supplication) and encourages the lslamisation of health services.
In a statement, Prof. Oreagba said, “Dr. Oyelami, the immediate past chief lmam of UITH, Ilorin, carried out an independent investigation on Kogi State/NCDC and organised nationwide online reconciliation campaign between the State and NCDC/PTF over suspected cases of the pandemic in 2020.
“This committed Muslim doctor established Shifauk Hospital, a leading Islamic medical facility in Ondo State, for the benefit of the community. He has carried out series of free and discounted medical services. Oyelami’s dedication to service to humanity equally made the NSCIA, Ondo State, to nominate him to lead the COVID-19 campaign in the State, as he also mobilised and distributed palliatives to vulnerable ones to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the communities
“He is the face of Islam in the medical profession both within and outside the State. He is one of the leaders of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria, BRECAN, with many grassroot outreaches. This young man has also participated in many lMAN enlightenment campaigns and career talks to secondary schools.
“When we collated these achievements, with others that we didn’t mention in this report, we can unanimously agree that our brother, Dr. Oyelami rightly deserves to win the award.
“Dr. Oyelami is our Muslim Health Person of the Year. On behalf of the organisers, we congratulate him for the astounding and marvelous achievements,” Prof. Oreagba concluded.
Dr. Oyelami speaks…
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Oyelami expressed his appreciation of God’s mercy of being recognised as the Muslim Health Person of the Year 2020, saying that he never knew that his efforts would be rewarded.
According to him, “I am happy about this award. It is a plus to our organisation and the Muslim community. Really, I never knew there would be an award for our efforts. When I heard about this award in January, I was impressed that a Muslim media outfit was already thinking in the right direction. I got to know that it started some years back. Alhamdulilah, the Muslims are also waking up to the various things we never had in the past.”
Dr. Oyelami said it is a global practice to celebrate people, especially the achievers, adding that, “Allaah’s pleasure is the ultimate but when you learn that your brothers appreciate what you are doing, it means ‘a push to do more’. It also encourages several others to perform and deliver.”
He also stated that rewarding excellence is well established in the Qur’an and Hadith, citing an example where the Prophet (SAW) said; “Verily Allah has prescribed excellence in everything…When you see people celebrating your excellence, you get encouraged and say Alhamdulillaah while remembering that Allaah’s recognition is the only one that is eternal. That was what came to my mind.”
While showing his appreciation to the organisers, the former Amir MSSN, Kwara State Area Unit urged Nigerians to be vigilant, saying the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over.
He said, “I want to use this medium to call on Nigerians that COVID-19 is still with us, there is a lot of fear. We must fight and kill fear. So, we need to continue to encourage people to observe all the protocols, especially the use of face masks, washing of hands with clean water and soap as well as observing social distancing.
“The other area I would like to talk about is information. There is what we call infodemics now. Information just flies everywhere. It’s even worse in these days of social media. I want to appeal to Nigerians to share the right information, as well as promote people who share correct information, to bring positive changes to the society,” he added.
The winner of the Nigerian Muslim Legal Person will be announced on Wednesday, February 10, while dates for the presentation of plagues will be communicated in due time.
Muslim News, Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic is a publication of Rawshield PR Media, which serves as a mouthpiece for underreported Muslim achievers and events in Nigeria and across the world, which are never given prominence in the mainstream media