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My Meeting with the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Hon. Mr. Linus Awute

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Left: Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Hon. Mr. Linus Awute. Right: Dr. Godwin E. Ibe Left: Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Hon. Mr. Linus Awute. Right: Dr. Godwin E. Ibe

First of all, I would like to thank our honourable Permanent Secretary for taking the time to visit the students of Peoples' Friendship University of Russia. There were many universities that he could have visited and he could also have foregone the idea totally but yet, he decided to give us that rare honour. Hence I am nothing short of grateful.

n his speech with the students, he touched on a lot of topics. He started with introducing himself and gave everyone a change to introduce themselves. When it got to my turn, I thought for a second, Do I introduce my humble self simply as "Godwin Ibe" or as "Dr. Godwin Ibe". I preferred the first option because I believe in humility and prefer to show just that. At the same time, I wanted to let him know that I am in the medical field and not adding that may not be a true representation of myself and interests. So I opted for the second, adding that I was the ex-President of the Nigerian Students Union. Amazingly he asked, "You are a doctor, what kind of doctor?" I replied with a humble smile "A Medical doctor, I studied Medicine here in Russia." I thanked him for the opportunity and passed the introduction baton to the next student. I must add that from that point I already began to appreciate his humility, sensitivity and genuine interest in others especially students.

Of the many important things he touched, he talked about politeness and relationships with other people. He made us understand that every chance we have to meet other people is a rare priviledge which we must take advantage of, by being polite and taking the responsibility to greet and introduce ourselves. He gave many related examples stressing the necessity of this. I believed him hook and sinker, and still do.

Also, he talked about the achievements of the Health Ministry especially in the containment of Ebola Virus Disease, a feat which must be applauded by every rational unbiased person. After His speech, he gave students a change to ask questions, another evidence of a good listener. The amounts of positive questions that poured in also showed the interest the students had in his speech and our eagerness to tap from his knowledge and wisdom. I personally asked him about the stigmatization/victimization affecting Nigerians around the world considering the fact that Nigeria has been free from Ebola since the 26th of September 2014 as announced by our Honourable Minister of Health and by His Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan. I wanted to know what the Ministry of Health was doing about it particularly in informing other countries, and its collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) to announce this good news to the world. His answers were satisfactory and I believe more efforts will still be done to contain this stigmatization around the world.

The questions gave him another chance to touch on a few extra issues. He mentioned about the upgrade done in several federal hospitals around the country. He talked about the negative effects of Tribalism and the beauty in diversity. Quoting him, "Tribalism is a problem for minds that have not been liberated. It is the duty of liberated minds to educate these ignorant people and make them see the beauty in our diversity". This is as true as it can get. 

Lastly, he showed that his words can be backed up by serious actions by donating a hefty sum to the Nigerian Students Union, PFUR. I will not state the amount as I consider it unnecessary but it was equivalent to 50% of his official salary which only goes to show his magnanimous generosity and benevolence.

To sum up, It is rare to be visited by such a positive personality and I remain grateful to be there to welcome and listen to him. I would be even more privileged to meet him again. Thank you sir!

Dr. Godwin E. Ibe

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Godwin Ibe

Medical Doctor (GP), IT professional, Web Designer, CELTA Certified Teacher of English, Economist and International Trade Marketer.
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