A former President of Chemical Society of Nigeria, CSN, Prof Oladele Osibanjo, has blamed the increased cases of cancer and other harmful diseases on the abuse of chemicals.
The university teacher who was the guest lecturer at the 22nd Annual lecture, award of honours and postgraduate scholarships of Stephen Oluwole Awokoya Foundation for Science Education (SOAFSE) said major global environmental problems are caused by chemicals.
The erudite professor of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry said although chemicals are important in our daily lives as we are exposed to it, he however lamented that a lot of people are exposed to danger through abuse and ignorance.
“Chemicals are important in our daily lives, it has both good and bad sides; for instance, we have chemicals in cosmetics, food and water as well as communication gadgets like mobile phones and computers but improper regulation and exposure can cause cancer, reduced fertility, brain disorder and early puberty in children.
“We lack management structure for chemical safety, government must put in place a regulation to protect the public, Prof Osibanjo added.
At the event, which took place at the MUSON Centre were eminent personalities including Sir Steve Omojafor who chaired the occasion, Bashorun J. K. Randle who was the special guest of honour, Dr. Sunny Kuku, Prof. Ayo Ogunye, Chief Nike Akande and Chief Dele Onabule.
The occasion also provided an avenue to honour two distinguished Nigerians for their exemplary service to humanity.
These are the Chairman/Publisher of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru and Chairman, Continental Reinsurance Company, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola.
According to Dr. Omolaraeni Awokoya-Adadevoh, who is the executive director of the foundation, eminent Nigerians, who had made remarkable achievements in their various fields and impacted lives, are annually honoured by the foundation.
An elated Mrs. Alex Ibru, who commended the foundation for its lofty objectives said although her background is largely art-based, everything in the society revolves around science.
She said, “I am more of a literary person. But I later developed interest in science, particularly human anatomy. Everything is about science. Science derives from nature.”
On his part, Chief Ogunshola, who was accompanied by his wife, Chief Iyabo Ogunshola, expressed appreciation to the foundation for the honour.
Ogunshola extolled the virtues of the late Awokoya particularly his contribution to the development of education in the western region as well as the nation at large.
Another highpoint of the event was the award of postgraduate scholarships to six candidates who have excelled in their academic pursuits.
A member of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Folarin Awokoya said 120 postgraduate students from 31 universities applied for the 2017 scholarship scheme, which covers primarily tuition and board, out of which six candidates were picked.
The six, who are first class science graduates include Olajide Ezekiel Bamidele who studied Chemical Engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ife, Eziolu Stella Ilozuma a Civil Engineering graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Nkenna Ozofor Henry, a Chemical Engineering graduate also from NAU, Oyindamola Badejo, a graduate of
Biomedical Engineering from Bells University, Mololuwa Josiah, a Computer Science graduate from Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo and Mariam Orhierhor, a graduate of Animal and Environmental Biology from the University of Benin.
Orhierhor, who spoke on behalf of her colleagues lauded the foundation for the initiative and assured that they would be role models to their generation.
Omojafor commended the foundation for its objectives and contribution to the development of science education in the country.
He disclosed that he is a beneficiary of the free education that the likes of Awokoya and the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo introduced in the defunct western region.
While restating the importance of science to the development of any nation, Omojafor noted that technological development in all aspects is derived from science education.
On his part, Randle, who commended the foundation for keeping the memory of Awokoya alive lamented that science is not being given priority attention and blamed this on ignorance.
Source: The Guardian Newspaper