Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers state on Wednesday donated half a billion naira as his administration’s parting gift to the PAMO University of Medical Sciences (PUMS) owned by former Governor Peter Odili.
Wike announced the donation at Obigbo, Obigbo Local Government Area where he unveiled the PUMS Teaching Hospital which complex the varsity founder and Wike’s mentor, Odili named after the outgoing governor who he again described as the best governor Nigeria ever had.
PUMS, Odili noted, owes its rapid growth in the advancement of medical science and healthcare in Nigeria in just five years of inception to the generous support from Rivers government under Wike in previous cash donations and yearly sponsorship of of Rivers students at the first specialised medical varsity in Nigeria.
Wike said his profuse support for the PUMS derived from the value the institution holds for improved healthcare in Rivers, the founder’s commitment to serve humanity after retirement from public office and his (Wike’s) passion to support any course geared towards the common good for Rivers people.
He noted that, “Having finished as governor of Rivers for eight years, he (Odili) didn’t go to Abuja to stay and find any pressure group to join as formers governors forum or sundry setup. He said out of public office, I’m not tired of serving humanity. Serving humanity must not be by political appointment only.
“PUMS started 2018. In just five years we are talking about opening a teaching hospital. And look at the recommendations by the National Universities Commission, by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and others. What does that say, a man who is committed, has passion to see whatever he puts his hands come to fruition.”
On rumours of rift brewing between him and incoming governor, Siminialayi Fubara, Wike said, “People don’t like good thing. They like anything that will destroy. Having beaten them (the opposition in the general elections) mercilessly, they have nothing else to say than say they (him and his successor) are quarreling.
“I don’t understand people. Instead of praying that things are moving well, you are happy they are quarreling. Those spreading that rumour, you will suffer. There is no quarrel.”
Acknowledging Wike’s support and commitment to quality healthcare in Rivers, Odili noted, “Before you (Wike) were sworn in as governor, the state university had no faculty of medical sciences. You created one, converted our specialist hospital to a teaching hospital. Today some of the departments there are second to none across the federation, with best built clinical hostel in any medical school in Nigeria.
“From day one when we (PUMS) announced our presence 2018, you made promises you have fulfilled continuously till date. What the governor has done is invaluable, unquantifiable, we cannot put a figure on it. This (PUMS) will be the destination of hope, survival for sick people, staff that would treat patients like their employers, poverty will not be hindrance on access to the center.”