...Fmr Head of State Bemoans Insecurity In Nigeria
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has donated a sum of N500m to Nigeria's first and only privately-owned medical university, Pamo University of Medical Sciences (PUMS), Port Harcourt for the building of two hostel facilities.
Governor Wike, who made the announcement during the institution's 1st Founders' Day ceremony at the Elelenwo Main Campus on Monday, said the donation was the state government's endowment towards the proposed projects by the university.
The pronouncement of the donation lit up the crowded auditorium as students and visitors cheered and gave the governor standing ovation.
The governor who was accompanied to the event by former military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) and his counterparts from Sokoto, Bauchi, Adamawa and Oyo States, said that having once been a Minister for Education, he understood what it takes to run a university.
Stressing the need for adequate support to the university, Governor Wike said with a little over one year of its take off, the PUMS could not be financially viable to independently embark on the many projects begging for execution.
“As a specialized university that is barely above a year old, it is not easy to make profit, so I urge all good spirited people and friends of the State to support the university and donate to the endowment fund”, he said.
While revealing that not less than100 student of Rivers State origin are currently on government scholarship at the PUMS, Governor Wike threw a challenge to Rivers men and women to follow the footstep of the founder of PUMS, Sir (Dr.) Peter Odili, assuring that Rivers State government would not hesitate to give moral and financial support to such initiative.
In his address, Chairman of the Occasion and Chancellor of the university, General Abdulsalami Abubakar said the Founders' Day was set aside to celebrate the achievements of the university and thanked the National Universities Commission (NUC) for the record time it granted PUMS operational license to start.
The former Head of State who revealed that the operation of private universities in the country began during his administration 21 years ago, also lauded Governor Wike for his approval for student of PUMS to use the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital for their clinical training.
The retired army general during his speech, appealed to Nigerians to lend cooperation in the war against insecurity, stating that insecurity has reached an alarming stage in the country.
His words, “It is high time we stand up the security challenges bedeviling our country. Let's lead this war by praying for our armed forces and other security agencies”.
The ceremony was graced by dignitaries from all walks of life including wife of Niger State Governor, Justice Mary Odili and top government functionaries in the state.
Also in attendance were several royal fathers and religious leaders including Rev. Msgr. Pius Kii, Chaplain of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) who also delivered the guest lecture.