As the saying goes, “Ba rabo da gwani ba mayar da kamarsa”, Thursday October 10, 2019 marks the final day of Prof Aminu Zakari’s tenure as the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH).
Aminu’s life philosophy and accomplishments are inspiration to our young generation. He graduated as a physician from University of Jos at a record-breaking age of 22 years. He became board certified pathologist at the age of 31. He won the best graduating student awards in pathology at every level from undergraduate to postgraduate. He became a professor at 40 years and got appointed CMD at 41 years. Despite many laurels added to his name, and what seems to be an extraordinary career trajectory – he has remained unassuming and unostentatious. AKTH is certainly going to miss the leadership of a gentleman who is an embodiment of honesty, incorruptibility, generosity, diligence, selflessness and meticulousness.
Aminu brought on board his wealth of experience to bear on the system. His approach to administration is simply to treat power as a projection of servant leadership. A servant leader is there to sacrifice his comfort for the system. One is quite amazed at how he has managed to cultivate the habit of going to work earlier than everybody and still be the last person to close from work. Little wonder, despite enormous responsibility and huge demand of CMD’s office, he has always spared time to review complex histology slides often referred to him by colleagues for expert opinion. He reviews seminal works and thesis of his undergraduate and doctoral students at a record time. I guess Shakespeare was right when he asked, “What is in a name?” The name “Aminu” is Arabic word that translates into trustworthy in English. He lives up to that name in personal disposition and character.
One is also right to say that Aminu’s successful tenure is a reflection of high quality leadership AKTH has been blessed with right from inception. Initially conceived as a cottage hospital by the civilian administration of Alh. Abubakar Rimi (of blessed memory), the hospital has undergone series of deliberate metamorphosis to achieve a premier status among contemporary health service organizations. It is now a pacesetter and a torchbearer in the provision of advanced medical training, cutting edge medical research and innovative healthcare delivery in Nigeria. This trend of excellence cannot be due to chance. This seed was sowed at the inception by the pioneer CMD, Prof Sadiq Wali, nurtured by his pragmatic successor, Prof Abdulhamid Dutse, and fully grown to a position of dominance under the trusted hands of Prof Aminu Zakari. Interestingly, AKTH has shown tendency for triple repeating pattern. It’s 3 decades plus 3 years old (1986-2019). It has had 3 successful CMDs who share 3 things in common: 1) distinguished career as academics; 2) achieved greatness at tender ages; and 3) patriotism. One prays that the hospital will continue to soar for the benefit of people it is meant to serve.
Finally, before I lift the pen, let me extend my congratulations to Prof Aminu on accomplishing this task/assignment very well. Rather than saying farewell to a tasking office, I would say welcome back to the “bench” where your microscope has been patiently waiting. It has now been dusted and cleaned clinically with xylene. Let the revolution of “bench to bedside” continue. May the best always come your way, Sir!
Dr Musa wrote from Kano. He can be reached via [email protected]