He is a man with a tall CV; as tall as his person and as tall as his name implies. Time and space may not permit a full rundown on the story of Professor Dilli Dogo, who many might have heard about but never crossed his path.
It may no longer be news that Professor Dogo has been appointed the Vice-Chancellor of Nile University, Africa’s foremost private university south of the Sahara. It is not in doubt either that it is deserving, just as it is not surprising. Owners of Nile University seem to know their onions so well, and went for the proverbial rejected stone to be their own cornerstone.
It may seem to have taken long in coming, but I suppose it is better late than never. This truism is reflected in my brief chat with Professor Dogo when I called to congratulate him and to tell him that his appointment is long overdue, and he told me it is God’s time and it is the best.
Professor Dogo could pass by and everybody will think he is just another man, because of his humility and frugal nature, but every time I see him, I picture a great scholar and surgeon, who left his mark at every scene.
He traversed the scholarly and medical space with candour and every where he worked, he left behind a nostalgic yearning amongst people who crossed his path in one way or the other.
His landmarks in the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital remain indelible and the open yearnings for Dogo’s presence could be seen and felt.
Although a mite older than me, which denies me the previlege of witnessing him play in the sand with his peers, those who grew up with him told me that Dilli Dogo exhibited traits of excellence since his youthful days, as he was never pushed to the second position in class from his primary school days.
He came out as best graduating student from GSS Maiduguri, with a distinction in all subjects, and so, when he graduated with another distinction in Medicine from University of Maiduguri, those who knew him felt it was a confirmation of his dodged approach to scholarship.
Professor Dogo took up appointment with University of Maiduguri immediately after his graduation, and his rapid but meritorical rise to the rank of a professor of surgery, one of the most delicate areas of medical practice, was further testimony to his intellectual endowment.
A summary of his academic and professional attainments indicate that Professor Dogo graduated with a distinction in Bachelor of Medicine/ Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) in 1984. By 1991 he was already a Fellow of the Medical College of Surgeons (FMCS), and in 1992 Dogo had gone international when he was made Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons (FWACS).
He was awarded Fellow of the International College of Surgeons
(FICS) in 1996 and Fellow of the International Society of Surgeons (FISS) by 1998.
Apparently conscious that growth in academics and medical practice is based on studies and research, Professor Dogo strived to add to his General Surgery qualification in 2008 when he sat and obtained a Diploma in Laparoscopic Surgery, a rare field of study even amongst medical doctors, and later capped it with a certificate in Endoscopic Urology in 2011.
Dogo had earlier sat other examinations and passed in flying colours, leading to yet another recognition in 2018 with the American College of Surgeons conferring on him the Fellow of the College.
Many people were already thinking Professor Dogo was a potential material for the Vice-Chancellorship of University of Maiduguri where he taught and practised. He held diverse positions at the sub-Saharan centre of excellence and beyond, which prepared him for even greater tasks.
Professor Dilli Dogo held the position of member of the Governing Board of management of University of Maiduguri since 2018 to date. He was Provost, College of Medical Sciences of the university and Chairman, National Association of Colleges of Medicine (NACOM), now APCOM.
Professor Dogo also served as Chairman and member of Council, Faculty of Surgery, National Medical Postgraduate College of Nigeria, in 2015, where he presided over the day to day running of the faculty.
It is also on record that while performing his academic and professional duties, Professor Dogo has been serving as honorary Special Adviser to the Borno State Governor on Health.
I stand to challenge anybody who can match Professor Dogo’s service to the Marama Community. I recall being his foot soldier in rendering some of the services to our community, which includes lobbying to have projects executed in Marama, to wit roads, water, hospital and school. He organised the first ever merit award to deserving sons and daughters, without prejudice, and he brought on board willing indigenes to unite in community service. Every year, he doles out food, money and clothing to widows, the aged and the weak and sick.
Today, he is a patron of the Marama Community Development Association, a position he uses to rally support for community-based projects and for the staging of the annual Bura Culture Day celebrations.
A Professor of Surgery and academics, a humble intellectual, go-getter, Knight of the Catholic Church, a socio-political mobiliser, and leader per excellence, Professor Dogo is today the Vice-Chancellor of Nile University.
* Mr. Bwala is an Abuja-based media practitioner