An Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, Peter Ferdinand Drucker once said “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” The effect of leadership has tremendous effects in any institution. Dr. Salamat Ahuoiza Aliu-Ibrahim is indeed the first female Nigeria-trained Neuro-Surgeon. Having decided on her field of study from secondary school, her sterling career was influenced and motivated by renowned Professor T.O. Odebode, the Herneurosurgery Professor at University of Ilorin. In an interview, she disclosed that he reckoned she could become a neuro-Surgeon. Prof. Odebode exemplary leadership and belief furnished Nigeria with the first Indigenous female Neuro-Surgeon.
Dr. Aliu-Ibrahim is a neurosurgeon at the National Hospital, Abuja. She is the first indigenous trained female neurosurgeon in Nigeria and also the first female to be certified as a Neurosurgeon in West Africa.
Aliu-Ibrahim got her first medical school degree at the University of Ilorin. She later trained and specialized in Neuro-surgery at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. When an opportunity opened up for her at the Neurosurgery Centre in Sokoto state, she went ahead to train in spite of discouragements and difficulties. The training, which takes about six years to get certified, if there no unforeseen circumstances during the training period, tested both her capacity to handle the pressures of the job as well as managing her job with other family responsibilities.
Since she got certified, she has mentored other four women who are also training as neurosurgeons- two are training in Sokoto, one in Ibadan and another in Enugu. And many more women have considered specializing in neurosurgery. Tom Peters was true when he said leaders do not create followers, they create more leaders.
In 2014, Dr. Aliu’s co-authored publication, Knotting of a nasogastric feeding tube in a child with head injury: A case report and literature review (2014) has gained wide publicity and internet responses, given that it serves as a rich resource for science and medical research. She was also listed in the top 100 persons of the year by the Arewa Socio-political group in 2016.