Prince Julius Adeluyi-Adelusi: An apostle of inter-professional harmony
He stands about five feet ten inches tall and weighs about 70 kilogrammes with a glowing light skin. His smooth handsome face is always graced with smiles. He is regularly clad in bright coloured traditional attire with a cap to fit. He is a man of many parts. He is an activist, pharmacist and lawyer. The staunch Catholic is a lover of books, collection of photographs and works of art. Little wonder his office is adorned with such reflections.
He is soft spoken and a ‘perfect’ gentleman. There is this aura of royalty around him. He is always neat and spotless. He likes teasing people and cracking encouraging jokes. Although very rich and connected, he is humble. One had had several encounters with him, but the most memorable was an Investiture of Fellows of the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria under the leadership of Olumide Akintayo at the Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos. He paid me a compliment on my looks and the ‘cheap’ brown coloured suit I wore. He engaged me on discussions about the job.
Another of such event was at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos, Akoka. I was one of the speakers at a symposium with the theme: “Health of the Nation – The Imperative of Inter-professional Collaboration” and we were seated close to each other.
The closest I had gone to him was my visit to his office with the then Editor of The Guardian Newspapers, now the Editor-In-Chief, Mr. Martins Oloja.He took us on a tour of his office, a three-storey building located on Oba Akran road by the foot of the bridge at Ikeja Bus-Stop.
The tour started from the pharmacy, the popular Juli Pharmacy, coined from his name Julius, which is on the ground floor of the edifice. I cannot forget the ease with which he walked up the stairs while I struggled with my strides. He is physically fit. You can mistake him for a 50-year-old. He never touched the rails. On the passage leading to his office were sheets of paper with quotes pasted on the walls. We had gone to interview him ahead of his 75th Birthday. He took his time to give explanations and stories behind each photograph in his office. He has a rich library with books from all works of life.
Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, born August 2, 1940, is a pharmacist and legal practitioner. He is the founder and Chairman of Juli Plc, the first indigenously promoted company quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He is the National President of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy. He is a past National President of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos, Plateau State. Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi is a former National President of the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce as well as the National President of the National Council for Population and Environmental Activities (NCPEA). He became the first District Governor of Rotary International District 9110 covering Nigeria in the 1982/1983 year. He was an outstanding student political leader, having served as Secretary General of the world student body, the International Student Conference (ISC) in The Hague, Holland and built student union organisations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. He continues to play a leading role in church and community programmes.
He is a former Federal Minister of Health and Social Services. He is a past Group Chairman of Oodua Investment conglomerate, an organisation coordinating the economic and cultural legacy of the Yoruba nation. He is the Chairman of the MTN Foundation.He is very passionate about inter-professional harmony especially in the health sector. He championed it in 2017 as the President of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN)
Adeluyi-Adelusi, at the symposium with the theme: “Health of the Nation – The Imperative of Inter-professional Collaboration”, said that some of the brightest minds in this country are in the health sector, but wondered why effectiveness and efficiency is not being recorded.
Juxtaposing unforgiving standards of persecuting drug traffickers and drug abusers on the Asian continent and Nigeria’s use of a more lenient approach to tackling same issues, he emphasised the need for youths to be part of the bigger fight against substance abuse with the MTN Foundation’s ASAP that is aimed at properly educating youths on the dangers of drug abuse.
He buttressed the organisation’s guiding tenets focused on listening to and addressing the needs of youths in contemporary times. To him, this approach was essential, considering the significant changes in social standards over different generations; hence the need to adjust in order to fix the problem of substance abuse in the country holistically through enlightenment campaigns without necessarily coercing youths. However, he didn’t fail at sounding an alarm about the dire consequences of abusing drugs and the need to nip this problem in the bud…”
Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi was born at Ado-Ekiti in Ekiti State. He started his elementary education at St George’s Catholic primary school, Ado Ekiti from 1946-1952. He won a scholarship to attend Government College, Ibadan. However, in those days, Catholics were not encouraged to attend non-Catholic secondary schools. As an alternative, he attended St. Thomas Aquinas College, Akure from 1953-1957 where he completed his high school education also on scholarship. In the primary school, he was an altar server as well as a member of the choir.
He is married to Juliana Omosalewa (nee Onipede), an agriculturist, administrator, company Director and Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, from Badagry, Lagos State. They have four children and seven grandchildren. Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi has been active in Church programmes since childhood. He was in the Catholic Church choir in Leiden in the Netherlands. When he returned to Nigeria from Holland in 1968, he became Secretary of St. Agnes Catholic Parish, Maryland, Ikeja. He later became the foundation Secretary of St. Leo’s Parish, Ikeja. There he founded St. Gabriel’s lay readers Society and St. Cecilia’s choir. He is the grand patron or patron of many societies. He was the pioneer organist at St. Leo’s Catholic Church. He became the Parish Chairman from 1988 to 1993, during which time the building of the large church took place. He is the Chairman of the Catholic Study Group, which exposes professionals to the study of the scriptures every week. He enjoys writing, reading, music, the arts, and public speaking. The Prince is a golfer and scored a hole-in-one in 2016 at the Ikeja Golf Course. He is passionate about youth mentoring and application of the ideal of service. He is a manager, leader, motivational speaker, a strategist and role model.
On the occasion on his 75th birthday on August 2, 2015, he received a televised public commendation from the Head of State President Mohammadu Buhari. He has to his credit scores of publications and guest lectures on subjects varying from Pharmacy to law, Religion and Strategy, to issues of National development. He continues to play a leading role in Church and community programme.
Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi attended the Nigerian College of arts, science & Technology, Ibadan (1959-1961) to obtain his GCE advanced level in science subjects. The campus became the starting venue for the University of Ife when it was created in 1961. Both in the Nigerian college and the University of Ife, he had a double scholarship from the Western region and the Federal Government. He was to study language at the University of Ibadan but was too young since he was only 17. Between 1957 and 1960 he worked as a teacher in St. Michael’s Catholic Modern School, Yemetu, Ibadan. Some of his students have become famous, including Prof. Pius Obanya who was invited from the UNESCO to serve as the Director General of Universal Basic Education Scheme. He was among the pioneer set of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) from 1962-1965 where he studied Pharmacy. He attended the language institute, Noordwijk, Holland 1967 and then proceeded to study law at the University of Lagos (1984-1986). In 1987, he emerged as the overall best student at the Nigerian Law School. He also attended the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru in 1990. His essay was titled “Constraints to Policy formulation and implementation in Nigeria”.
Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi was a student activist at the Nigerian college as well as the University of Ife. He became the National Vice-President for International affairs for the National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS). In that and other capacities, he represented the University of Ife and the National Union of Nigerian Students at more than 37 local and International Conferences. He was publisher and editor of a campus newssheet called the Spitfire. He also held National leadership positions in Pax Romana (Catholic Student Group), All Nigerian United Nations Students Association (ANUNSA), World University Service (WUS) and other student formations. In 1964, he represented the NUNS at the International Student Conference in Christchurch New Zealand. There he was elected as the Secretary for Africa for the world organization.
As soon as he graduated in Pharmacy in 1965, he proceeded to Leiden, Holland to work at the headquarters of the world organization. The organization known as the Coordinating Secretariat (COSEC/ISC) of the International Student Conference (ISC) was located in Leiden, Holland. He worked there from 1965-1968.
As Secretary for Africa, he visited all African countries and was responsible for forming national student unions in many Francophone and Anglophone countries of Africa. He later became the Secretary-General of the organization. His responsibilities included serving as the administrative head of the worldwide student organization. It also included visiting Heads of governments in different countries to promote harmony between governments and student groups. In this capacity, he built student organisations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
He is highly revered in the medical and legal world. Tributes are pouring from his colleagues at the Class ’87 of the Nigerian Law School, Fellows of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy and indeed the media.
As a trailblazer… the only pharmacist to serve as Minister of Health in Nigeria and Chairman of Juli Plc, the first indigenously promoted company quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, turns 80 today, Sunday, August 2, 2020, Nigerians and indeed the rest of the world stand in awe of this rare gem. Eighty hearty cheers to a quintessential gentleman: Prince Julius Adeluyi-Adelusi.
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