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A tribute to Late Professor Yusuf Otaru Aliu (1943 – 2024)

Professor Yusuf Otaru Aliu, Retired Professor of Veterinary Medicine, Ohinoyi of Anebira in Zaria, goes home. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji’un The Ebira nation…

Professor Yusuf Otaru Aliu, Retired Professor of Veterinary Medicine, Ohinoyi of Anebira in Zaria, goes home. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji’un

The Ebira nation worldwide; the Ebira people in Zaria in particular; the world of academia, the profession of Veterinary Medicine; the family of late  Adai Aliyu  Ozuwaya and Okene in particular  have lost an icon who left his indelible footprints in the sands of time.

Born on the 14th of January, 1943 in Okene, Kogi State, Prof.Y.O.Aliu attended the Roman Catholic Mission School, Okene for his primary education from 1949-56. He proceeded to the Government College, Keffi from 1957-63.

The renowned scholar attended the famous Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA, from 1964-69 for his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree(DVM). He was also at the Texas A and M University, College Station, Texas, USA between 1972-74 for his PhD.

Prof. Aliyu bestrode the world of Veterinary Pharmacology and chemotherapy of cattle trypanosomiasis at home and abroad like a colossus. He pioneered the chemotherapy of cattle trypanosomiasis using the combination of diaminazene aceturate and dextrose solution.

He was Technical Officer-in-Training, Veterinary Clinic, Jos, 1964; Research Assistant, Summer, Cornell, USA, 1966; Research Assistant, Cedars of Lebanon, Medical Institute, Hollywood, California, USA, 1967; Research Assistant, US Food and Drug Administration, Beltsville, Maryland, USA, 1968; and Graduate Assistant, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, 1969.

He was the Nigerian Representative at the World Veterinary Association, 1975-77; Executive Member, Commonwealth  Veterinary Association, 1975-77; Vice-President, World Association of Veterinary Pharmacologists; Physiologists and Biochemists, 1983-85; Member, Editorial Board, Tropical Veterinarian, and member, presidential advisory policy committee on agriculture, 1999.

Professor Y.O. Aliu joined the services of ABU as lecturer II in 1969 and rose to the rank of professor in 1983. He was at various times, Head of Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology (1976 – 1988); member of Senate (1976 – 2008); Dean of Student Affairs (1990 – 1992);

Director, Academic Planning (1988 – 1992); member of ABU Governing Council (1986 – 1990); NUC Board member (1987 – 1989); President,  Veterinary Council of Nigeria (2006 – 2008); among many other community services he rendered to his university and country.

The late Professor Y.O. Aliu left his indelible mark in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine where he taught for 39 years before he retired in 2008. Amongst his students were a former Vice Chancellor, Professor S.U. Abdullahi. He authored the first indigenous textbook of Veterinary Pharmacology and a Laboratory Manual of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology. He also authored the first ‘Nigeria Veterinary Essential Drugs List (Pharmacopoeia).

After retirement, his passion for community service was recognised and appreciated so well that he was crowned the Ohinoyi of Ebira community in Zaria in 2018.

Professor Y.O. Aliu was a towering figure in academia and Ebiraland. He was a man of strong principles and convictions. He will surely be missed by his family, ABU community, the Nigerian Veterinary profession, his students, at home and in diaspora, and the Nigerian academia in general.

Professor Y.O. Aliu died on Friday 5th April, 2024 at the age of 81.

May Allah (SWT) forgive him and grant him Aljanatul Firdaus. Ameen.

Prof Mamman Mohammed wrote via [email protected]

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