OPINION: WHO IS DR PATRICK SUNDAY DAKUM?

A number of persons asked to know who Dr Patrick Sunday Dakum is, to have an informed decision on his candidacy as the leader of the Consolidation for Greater Plateau 2023 and eventually the next Governor of Plateau State.
Below are testimonials from world personalities on Dr Patrick Sunday Dakum.
It shall be in series.

WILLIAM A. BLATTNER MD (MANAGING DIRECTOR SALT RUN GLOBAL HEALTH AND RESEARCH USA)

“I first met Patrick when he was Commissioner of Health for Plateau State in 2000 when Dr. (now Professor) Alash’le Abimiku took me to visit her laboratory at Plateau Specialist Hospital. Two years later Alash’le had her fateful walk with the Governor (Dariye) on the top floor of the Nicon Hilton and Patrick joined the IHV team that founded the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria. Working out of serveral hotel rooms the odds that this small group-Patrick Dakum, John Farley, John Vertefeville, Charles Mensah, Alash’le and myself-would succeed in changing the landscape of Nigeria’s HIV response is highly unlikely. But success rooted in faith framed in God’s plan guided Patrick’s leadership approach. It wasn’t easy for Patrick as he faced many challenges-external from entrenched dysfunction in the health sector and internal imposed by me in my impatience and drive to achieve the unattainable. In the face of his beloved son Daniel’s untimely death during this period, Patrick’s courage and trust in God carried us all through this tragedy. Patrick’s greatest gift is rooted in his deep Christian faith that gives him equanimity and profound wisdom to allow God’s Plan to unfold. In this he taught me the importance of timing and patience and trust in God’s Plan.

“IHVN under Patrick’s leadership has achieved excellence as an antidote to the pernicious epidemic of HIV in Nigeria and has changed the landscape of healthcare in Nigeria. Along the way God has gifted Patrick with other successes: rank of Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, successful grant funding in the tens of millions of dollars, and scientific publications totalling more than 34 with more to come. He continues his pastoral work including his ministry with his beautiful bride Sarah for engaged couplse” (see “The Ripple Effect”, pp 168-169).

PROFESSOR SULEIMAN ELIAS BOGORO (EXECUTIVE SECRETARY TETFUND)

“What else do we need to testify to the credentials of a man with intimidating cerebral capacity… despite his numerous official, private, family and community commitments, he creates time to publish and share professional knowledge in Journals and periodicals this being why he is a visiting lecturer and consultant to universities and health institutions overseas (especially in USA) and also at home. His is a classic case of a lifting of man by God from grass to grace.

“As one of his contemporaries and friends said in his testimony on Dr. Dakum, he is exceptionally versatile, which is a trait of many persons with exceptional gifts in Natural and Applied Sciences. No wonder, he moved from one professional and career job to another until he took up his present responsibility as the Country Director of the International Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria.

“Along the line, Dr. Dakum was “arrested by Christ” and thus began his sojourn in the vineyard of the Lord, with admirable commitment and remarkable landmarks. Today he is one of the most committed Elders of COCIN church, so frequently used in church committees from the GCC level down to LCCs and CCs, to the extent that he is in almost every serious COCIN committee, dealing with evangelism, outreaches, fund-raising committees, Karl Kumm University fund-raising and mobilization committees, etc. Yet perhaps the area the COCIN Church cannot forget his leadership role is that of Sunday school teaching of children, for which only our heavenly father can reward him for the adept teaching and motivational methodologies he brings on board consistently. The most admirable aspect of his church commitment is that he and his wife are both involved, with each of them taking specific specialization in the church.

“As if the aforementioned public and private commitments are not enough, Dr. Dakum is a natural community leader. He has a very long list of community projects that he has executed in his Mupunland, but also beyond. It is for this reason he proudly dons two traditional titles. He is “the Nguman Dak Yil Mupun Land). As if to underline his abiding connection to his roots, he is also “the Korong Jiblik” (meaning Hero of Jiblik). No wonder, he radiates unparalled confidence any day at any venue at Mupun community events, functions and meetings. He is truly revered and loved by his people and he shares this privilege with many other highly-respected and very cerebral Mupun sons and daughters, who are also pace-setters and leaders in their spheres of life and professions.

“… I am confident that if our system begins to reward our best, Dr. Dakum still has an average of 20-25 years of productive and quality service to offer as a Professor, Consultant and General Purpose Doctor, making impact especially in rural communities to the benefit of the vulnerable and poor” (see “The Ripple Effect”, pp XVI-XIX)

HRH MISHKOM YUSUF FWANGBRING WALE (THE PARAMOUNT RULER OF MUPUN KINDGDOM)

“The title “Ngu Mandak Yil Mupun” was conferred on Dr. Patrick S. Dakum by my predecessor, Mishkom Nuhu Dashwep and is recognized by my administration for continuity and based on the contribution to community development done by Dr. Patrick S. Dakum I remember when it was to be done, the late Paramount Ruler called me and said this was what he wanted to do, and I didn’t argue on any of the nominees as they are qualified… some of the recipients are not Mupun but they are still titleholders and I have decieded to continue with the recognition.

“Dr. Patrick S. Dakum is good in deeds, charisma and in his attitude towards others. Although he grew up in Zaria, which is outside Mupun land, he associates well with people. I knew him around 1980 through Dr. Bakle when he came and met me for his driver’s license when I was working with the State Ministry in Jos and since then, he has been an individual that respects others. His nature and behaviour confirmed his good deeds as he has never forgotten his Mupun roots. His character is good and he identifies and supports any developmental initiative of the Mupun people, the State and Nigeria as a whole. To further encourage him, I will advise that he maintains his charisma and his humanitarian nature. We want his type closer to us in the traditional council so that we can benefit from his talents and his exposure since he is good and religious (a practicing Christian).

“He should not change both in politics and in life due to any external influence. He should continue to be an Ambassador of Mupun Land both in the state and the National level or in whatever future role he is involved in. We on our part as the custodians of the people’s culture will continue to do our best to be fathers to all Mupun sons and daughters, who show ingenuity in the positive things they do since whatever level they attain, it’s for the promotion of the whole people based on Cameron Dokey’s quotation “For surely a king is first a man. And so, it must follow that a king does as all men do; the best he can”.

“And if our people in positions of authority do their best, we will be admired far and wide but this can only be achieved if we take something from Aristotle’s quote of: “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth”.

“So as the Lord continues to bless you, Dr. Patrick S. Dakum, just continue the mentoring that you have been doing towards the upcoming generations as we are already proud of you” (see “The Ripple Effect”, PP 112-114)

PROFESSOR JOHN IDOKO (FORMER DIRECTOR GENERAL NATIONAL AGENCY FOR THE CONTROL OF AIDS, NACA)

“I have known Dr. Patrick Dakum for more than 20 years. All truly great men are simple and humble. That is the persona of Dr. Dakum. He is known for his wit, humour and inspirational talks, which are opium for refreshment and reinvigoration either in the home or at the workplace. Dr. Dakum is generous, smart, works very hard, pleasant to meet and always carries a face with radiant beam. Workplaces will be happier and friendlier if everyone could have a colleague like Dr. Dakum.

“He is a great team player as evidenced by the leadership he has brought to bear to grow IHVN to where it is now-providing prevention, care and treatment to hundreds of thousands of Nigerians in the area of HIV and Aids related diseases and also one of the most active research organizations in this area in the country. The pillars of a successful organization are not made from cement but from hard work, passion and enthuslasm of leaders like him.

“He is a truly family man and a people’s man-generous, good at listening, a wise counselor, a good mentor and will go out of his way to help others” (see “The Ripple Effect”, page 170).

CHARLES OLALEKAN MENSAH (CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER/MANAGING DIRECTOR INSTITUTE OF HUMAN VIROLOGY NIGERIA).

“It is very seldom in life that one is opportuned to meet folks who will transform from being a complete stranger to a trusted ally and brother. I had such one-in-a-lifetime encounter in the third week of July 2004. What began as a casual phone call from a colleague and friend-Valerie Crickard-asking if I will be willing to assist Dr. Blattner (now a retired Professor of Medicine) to set up the operations of a new grant in Nigeria, turned out to be a life changing endeavour. A brief encounter with Dr. Blattner and his team on a Thursday afternoon culminated into a trip to Abuja Nigeria the next. Sunday and within the week I met with Dr. Patrick Dakum who was then the Honourable Commissioner for Health in Plateau State. My first encounter with Dr. Dakum was somehow brief and casual but I noticed that he did not have the kind of arrogance and haughtiness of political office holders.

“We commenced the operations of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) in a room shared by Dr. Dakum, Kimberly (Laboratory Technical Assistant) and I in the old Chelsea Hotel adjacent to the NICON Plaza in Abuja. Gradually but with the steady leadership of Dr. Dakum, we now have an internationally recognized health programmes implementation and research organization employing over 1,000 personnel of varying disciplines. All along I have marveled at the enormous patience exhibited by Dr. Dakum when we are faced with a difficult situation, his sometimes frustrating calmness during operational storms, and his tolerance for opposing opinion even when he is right.

“These qualities have continued to endear him to me to the extent that I now see him more as brother than friend or colleague hence, my phrase “transition from a complete stranger to a colleague, to a friend, and to a brother. I am pretty sure that all employees of IHVN and all our partners and collaborators see him in the same vein” (see “The Ripple Effect”, pp 171-172).

(HOSEA SUKKUSHE, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR HUMAN RESOURCE IHVN)

“It was not easy for me to write this testimonial of a great man that I have been very close to because of the so many facts he represents a Leader, Mentor, Boss, Teachnocrat, Community Leader, Pastor and Counsellor. Therefore, this brief testimonial cannot cover all that he represents to me and thousands of others. One distinct feature of Dr. Dakim is that he does not hide his identity.

“Dr. Dakum as a leader is someone who influences groups of people towards the achievement of goals. That he has demonstrated in the church, community, fellowship, and place of work; in politics and in government. He goes first and leads by example, so that others are motivated to follow him and do what they are expected to do.

“I have seen that on several occasions since I knew him close to 30 year ago. As a leader, he has his personal vision of where he wants the people to arrive at and when. The astronomical growth of IHVN is a very clear example. he is well loved and trusted by the people he leads. He knows his people and his people trust him, and he has never disappointed them. As a leader, when he accepts responsibilities, he does not fail-his word is his bond. I am yet to understand how he is able to manage and keep to all his numerous positions without failure or disappointment.

“As a mentor, Dr. Dakum is someone who helped me and thousands of others to develop our skills for success and long-range career planning (when I started full time work with him in October 2004, he advised me to seek for higher education-qualifications and not remain where I was). Today, I am not only a graduate with many other qualifications, but also an HR professional (chartered and licensed), and a Management Consultant. I can practice anywhere in the world. I attribute all these achievements and successes to him as a very good mentor. He is a good listener, is always willing to share experiences and views, is willing to commit time, resources and efforts; he provides an “open door” to questions and problems, points out both strengths and opportunities for improvement, and opportunities for improvement, and has a vested interest in the growth and development of his mentees.

“I am using ‘boss’ in this write up only to portray the fact as his Secretary and later Executive Assistant at the early years of the establishment of the Institute of Human Virology (Nigeria). He is not a boss in the real word but a LEADER, someone who treats you as a co-worker, brother, friend and fellow Christian. Dr. Dakum can trust you to the extent of giving you his ATM pin number and other bank details to make transactions on his behalf. Because of his trust, his office is accessible to all people workers and non-workers a like. When you try to stop some people from seeing him in the office, they will remain at the reception area awaiting his arrival or exit. The moment they meet him; he definitely attends to them. That is the type of ‘boss’ I worked with for many years.

“His environment is based on integrity, trust and respect which encourage feedback, innovation, and creativity. He does not care about your religion, race, sex and status in the society. Employees in all the places he worked as the ‘boss’ flourished. He does not discriminate against people.

“Dr. Dakum, wherever you see him, no one will tell you that he is a Pastor (true one for that matter). He cannot conclude any address or remarks without relating it to God and his works. He does not hide his identity as a child and Minister of God. He knows and has the word of God and is not ashamed to share it. As a Counsellor-both spiritual, medical, mental, psychological and physical as soon as you have an encounter with him, you must go home satisfied and your problems or challenges taken care off. He has assisted me and others who were in deep sorrows/challenges with not only words of mouth but financially and materially just to ensure that one was comfortable.

“His sense of humour has contributed to healing so many people. You cannot be with Dr. Dakum and feel sad. His Popular Radio programme, “Home Front” in PRTV, Jos Plateau State was a confirmation of his being a pastor and counsellor. Time and space will not permit me to give more practical example of my ‘Leader, Mentor, Boss, Teachnocrat, Community Leader, Pastor and Counsellor’ He does not only operate an ‘open door policy’ in the office, but even at Home, Church, Fellowship, in the Community etc.

“I am indeed humbled and priviliged to be associated with Dr. Patrick Sunday Dakum” (see “The Ripple Effect”, pp 173-176).

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OPINION: WHO IS DR PATRICK SUNDAY DAKUM?

About The Author
- Studied Mass Communication from the University of Jos. He is a Media Consultant, Journalist, a blogger, public relations practitioner and an advocate for social justice.