I have enjoyed your piece on Prof Peter Obekpa and I have great empathy for him, having also worked with him in the Joshua Obademi regime in Benue State when he served as Commissioner for Health and Human Services. I remember very well that he had surgery sessions at the then General Hospital, now Federal Medical Center, Makurdi and Gyado Hospital in Gboko. He told me personally that Senator Jack Tilley Gyado was his friend. They both are old boys of the iconic St. Michael’s Secondary School, Aliade.
I also remember very well that he it was who solved my perennial malaria problem. I had this sick feeling that defied any casual handling by the Government House doctor. So, I approached Dr Obekpa who was temporarily housed at the Abdullahi Shelleng Lodge located next to my residence in the precincts of Government House, Makurdi. He ordered me to go for malaria check at the lab and insisted that it has to be both thin and thick films. And alas the thick film tested positive for malaria. He took time to explain to me what that meant. It was the first time I was hearing of the thin and thick films of blood test for malaria parasites and, since then, I have always insisted on the thick and thin film blood test each time I go to the hospital to check for malaria in my system.
Dr Obekpa is a consummate professional who sees his profession first as a social service and not as a business or something to use to fleece poor Nigerians. Most of the surgeries he handled while he was Commissioner for Health in Benue State he did them almost gratuitously. This he told me personally, explaining that, “our people are too poor to think you would make money out of them. I am just enjoying doing what I am doing”
You, however, failed to avail readers of what is ailing this talented and knowledgeable professor of surgery. Readers would want to know, feel for him, empathise and pray for and with him for quick recovery.