Staff and students of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical sciences, University of port-Harcourt, in honour of Prof. Udeala recently organised a Send-off ceremony to wish him well as he retires from active service.
Professor Udeala, who is a former Vice Chancellor of University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) (1992-1995), is seen and known to be the Father of Pharmaceutical and Pharmaceutical Technology in Nigeria by professionals in the pharmaceutical industry and in the health sector.
Udeala, a professor of pharmacy, was the first alumnus to be appointed Vice Chancellor of the institution.
The occasion which was held at the Prestigious Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, UNN with Professor Emeritus Nimi D. Briggs – former VC University of Port-Harcourt as the Chairman of occasion, and Prof. M. U. Adikwu, FPSN, – VC University of Abuja as the Keynote Address Speaker, was well attended by dignitaries from all walks of life including the VC University of Port-Harcourt, Prof. N. E. S. Lale.
Prof. Udeala, who was described variously as a colossus, an institution, a quintessential scholar, world acclaimed researcher, professor of professors, mentor per excellence, versatile and creative teacher, capacity builder, excellent administrator and a world class scientist, is a winner of several national and international awards including the Rolex Associate Laureate Award (1990) and the National Science & Technology Prize (1990). He was also elected Man of the Year by American Biographical Institute in 1995.
In 2004, Professor Udeala took responsibility for the establishment of a new Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Resources were very scarce but he was not daunted and with profound diligence, great personal sacrifice and unparalleled humility, he achieved the task in a record time and today, that faculty has become one of the strongest in the university.
Some years ago, a research team led by Professor Oleka Udeala – then the Dean of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Uniport, revealed that the presence of Black ants also known as lusuiasnigar in urine could be an early indication of diabetes.
“I will cease to be a staff of University of Port Harcourt; I can now concentrate on my new findings or intuition that ground granulated blast furnace slag cement GGBFSC (simulated) or even fly ash can be derived from our rich agro-wastes without recourse to iron smelting. I am easing off at a point I am looking at the compressive strengths of differing blended cement at chosen time intervals all derived by my home grown high compressive, durable possibly impermeable to deleterious cations. This study has its basis on pharmaceutical formulation science.” Prof. Udeala said shortly before retirement. He also wondered if this could be in conflict with Agriculture even if Nigeria from this can begin to have structures that have durability of 50 to 100 years.
During the events of his send-off Udeala stated that it is his eternal joy and desire to teach and mentor even in retirement. According to him, “education is different from literacy. Universities must not fail in their primary duty to educate; society grows and advances when knowledge is applied by the educated”, he concluded.