By SundiataPOST, Abuja
A former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon has urged the leadership of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) to ensure adherence to professionalism and ethical practice in the profession.
Gowon said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the Diamond Jubilee celebration of the association and the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN).
“ It is my hope that having come of age, the profession and its practitioners would build on what has been handed down, to ensure that the role of veterinarians in the nation’s economy is properly enhanced and recognised.
“ I wish to call on the leadership of the NVMA to continue to toe the path of its founding fathers in the promotion of professionalism, ethical practice and welfare.’’
Gowon, who signed Decree 37 that established the association in 1969, expressed satisfaction with its growth and development.
He noted that the veterinary profession had taken its rightful place in the country at a time when its services were needed most.
He said the number of Veterinary Colleges in Nigeria today was an indication that the government should expect more economic benefits from the practice of Veterinary Medicine.
The former head of state acknowledged the competence and courage demonstrated by practitioners of the profession in combating the outbreak bird flu in 2006. “ The fact that you have over 6,000 veterinary doctors on your register is an indication that you are doing everything possible to discourage quackery in your profession.”
He noted that with the breakthrough achieved in science and technology, the profession would witness great improvement for the benefit of Nigerians and animals.
The highlight of the occasion was the conferment of Honorary Fellowship Award of the College of Veterinary Surgeons of Nigeria on Gowon, Dr Bernard Vela, Dr Jim Smith and Dr Ahmed Esaluhi, among others.
The College of Veterinary Surgeons of Nigeria also marked its fourth convocation ceremony with the graduation of 43 students.
Speaking on behalf of the graduands, Dr Samuel Azani, while commending the performance of the leadership of the college promised that they would contribute positively to the development of agriculture in the country.