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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 109-110

Tribute to a teacher and mentor; late Prof. Sulaiman Botsende Lagundoye

Department of Radiology, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University/Ahmadu Bello Universiy Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Date of Submission16-Aug-2020
Date of Decision16-Aug-2020
Date of Acceptance16-Aug-2020
Date of Web Publication30-Nov-2020

Correspondence Address:
Ibinaiye Philip
Department of Radiology, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University/Ahmadu Bello Universiy Teaching Hospital, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JRMT.JRMT_33_20

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How to cite this article:
Philip I. Tribute to a teacher and mentor; late Prof. Sulaiman Botsende Lagundoye. J Radiat Med Trop 2020;1:109-10

How to cite this URL:
Philip I. Tribute to a teacher and mentor; late Prof. Sulaiman Botsende Lagundoye. J Radiat Med Trop [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Aug 4];1:109-10. Available from: http://www.jrmt.org/text.asp?2020/1/2/109/301900

When I commenced my residency training at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, in the late 1999, I was told that I needed to look for an accredited center for my residency training in Radiology. In March 2000, I decided to travel to University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, my alma mater, to seek placement for residency training in Radiology as supernumerary. I took night bus and arrived the Radiology Department at 6:30 am and met a resident who was on night call and who told me that the Head of the Department (HOD), Prof. Lagundoye had a function at National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Lagos, that day. However, he assured me that Prof. Lagundoye (Baba) would definitely branch to the department around 6 pm to review films with them before returning home. I was highly impressed with what I heard about Baba for the first time. I hung around the department determined to remain there until Baba returns from Lagos. After sometimes, more residents started coming in, and by my interaction with them, they all told me that that there was no vacancy for supernumerary resident in the department and that the current number of supernumerary residents had already doubled the existed vacancy then. It was really a sad news to me, but I decided that no matter the situation, I must wait to hear the final verdict from Baba.

At 5 pm, the residents were already gathered in the demonstration room waiting for Baba for film review. When some of them saw me, they asked me why I am still waiting after I had already been informed that there was no vacancy; I got frustrated and picked my bag and said good bye to them; one of the residents a senior one called Dr. Isyaku Kabiru; now, Prof. Isyaku Kabiru called me back and said, “Doctor you came all the way from Zaria to see Baba and you have been waiting since 6:30 am and now this is 5:30 pm and you are departing because of what you were told. He said further that though things are very tough, Baba may give you a positive surprise.” Behold, Prof. Isyaku was still talking when Baba walked in. Although my undergraduate medical training was at College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, I had never met Baba until that day because, when we had our posting in Radiology, Baba was on National Assignment at University of Maiduguri. It was a young, vibrant, and handsome consultant, Dr. now Prof. Adeyinka who gave us the lectures during that posting, and he stimulated our interest in Radiology. Let leave the incidents at undergraduate training for now and concentrate on Baba.

When Baba came in at exactly 5:45 pm, he asked me, “Young man, where are you coming from?” I greeted him with utmost respect and told him I came from Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, and that I have been waiting since 6:30 am to see him and to seek for a placement for supernumerary residency in Radiology. He gazed at me and shook his head; I was expecting negative respond. However, Baba asked, “How is Dr. Chom? I hope he is doing fine? Dr. Chom was one of our outstanding and hardworking residents.” That calmed me down a bit, but I was still expecting bomb shell from Baba. Baba gazed at me again and with low and reassuring voice just like a good and caring father will talk reassuringly to a son he loves when all hope is at stake; Baba said, “Young man, it is very difficult and…, but I will help you, but you must bring letter from your employer that they are willing to sponsor you and conclude all arrangements to resume before I retire in June this year (2000), you know this is March, so you have limited time to accomplish all these tasks. But, I wish you the best.” He concluded and commenced the film review with residents. That was Baba for you! In my first encounter with Baba, he gave me hope, he gave me a career, and he acted like a real and caring father to me.

I left Ibadan for Zaria that night full of hope. I completed the whole process of admission into residency training with Baba recommendation in June 2000. When I reported to the department to commence the training, I went straight to the HOD office to report to Baba. I entered his office with my traveling bag at exactly 2 pm, and as was about to prostrate to greet him, he said, “No, young man, you don't have that time I'm retiring today this is 2 pm, please drop your bag here and rush to establishment office to complete your documentation because I can't say what can happen after I leave this seat today.” I rushed to the establishment office to complete my documentation and paid the training fee.

When I returned to him, I told him that I have completed the documentation. He said, “Good.” Then, he gazed at me again and said “Young man, when are you returning to Zaria?” I did not understand what he meant, but I said, Sir, once I settled down a bit, I will go back and pick my family and my loads. Then, he laughed and said, “What I mean is when are going to complete this program and return to Zaria?” Then, I said, Sir, after 6 years because my employer gave me 6 years to complete the program. He said again, “You can actually complete this program in 4 years and return to Zaria.” That was the stimulus I needed at that time, and to God be the glory, under the guidance and mentorship of Baba and the rest of the Consultants in the Department, I commenced the training in June 2000 and completed the training in May 2004, 4 years, as Baba predicted on my 1st day in the Department, what a great mentor Baba was!

Throughout our training, Baba will come from his home at Bodija to train us, and most of the time, I would be the one assigned to pick him from home and to return him back. You cannot stay with Baba and be bored. While driving him to UCH and returning him back home, he used to tell me many stories and practical things about life that have helped me in swimming successfully through many turbulent waters in life.

After I successfully defended my dissertation at Part 2 Fellowship Examinations of National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, Faculty of Radiology, with full pass, I went to Bodija to greet and thank Baba and gave him a copy each of my dissertation and book of case reports. He was impressed and said, “with full pass at the first attempt, I am sure you won my prize, but I will check.” He called me later to inform me that I won his prize. Unfortunately, the award was not listed at 2004 Convocation Ceremony. He was not happy about the whole thing, but as usual, he reassured me that he would make sure that the award is listed in the next convocation. Two days to that Convocation, he called to apologize that the award was not listed again, but I should come to the convocation to receive the prize from him. I honored his invitation, after the convocation ceremony, right inside convocation hall, he presented to me a UBN cheque of N25,000. He also presented the same amount in cheque to the winner of his prize for that convocation (2005) that was not listed too. Baba was a man of honor and integrity.

Baba was exemplary family man, and we learned a lot from him. He was a loving husband and father. Anytime we visited Baba, we always received kind and warm welcome from his spouse who also played motherly role to all the residents.

Time will not permit me to write all the good deeds of Baba in my short personal interaction with him. Even when I left Ibadan, he played a major role in securing my faculty appointment with Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. His joy had no bound when he was told about my promotion to rank of full Professor in 2017 at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 17 years after my first encounter with him.

In conclusion, Baba was a true Nigerian, a great Teacher, a great Mentor, a great Guidance, a great and kind Father to all, one of the Meekest of all men, a man of extraordinary Patience, and an exemplary Family man.

Adieu Baba, although you are gone, your good deeds will remain to be seen for a long time!

The Radiology family you built with much effort mourns you.

I, your last born Resident you brought in on the day of your retirement, mourn you.

The whole nation mourns you.

Quoting from the last words of George Washington, 1732–1799, 1st President of United States; “Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.” Baba was not afraid to go because he had invested so much in men and women of goodwill to carry on his legacy.

May Almighty God grant him eternal rest.


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