Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the people of the state are committed to the unity, security and development of the country, adding that the security agencies controlled by the federal government were undermining the efforts of the people.
Wike spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt at the 31st meeting of the National Technical Committee on National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) tagged: ‘Our Festivals, Our Heritage’.
He stated that the destiny of the country would not be cut short by activities of some individuals, adding that the visions of the founding fathers of the nation would be attained.
Wike who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, said: “We in Rivers State are honoured to host this wonderful event, bringing the whole nation – our dear nation, Nigeria together. As a government, we believe so much in the unity of our dear country and the development and progress of Nigeria. The destiny of this nation will never be cut shot.
He said the present administration in the state had made efforts in the last three years in the areas of development of infrastructure, education and health, as well security.
“All our efforts in the last three years are geared towards infrastructural development, roads, bridges, education, health, culture, tourism, towards our aim of making Port Harcourt a centre of culture and tourism.
“We are very particular about is security and I assure you that this government has supported all security agencies maximally to ensure our society is crime-free,” Wike said.
He however, expressed regret that while the people of the state were eager to exercise their franchise during the recent by-election in the state, the federal government-controlled security agencies aided the disruption of the process.
“It is sad that last two weeks we had by-election in Port Harcourt City Constituency III, in which people came out to vote, but the federal government’s security agencies, hired and paid by the federal government abetted the destruction of the electoral process.
“We are mentioning these because we believe in democracy and if this continues it will affect our democracy. Our concern is that this should not happening anywhere else in the country,” he said.
In his address, the Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture, Otumba Segun Runsewe, said the council was committed to using culture and tourism to change the narrative of the nation.
He commended the people efforts of Rivers State Government in the promotion of culture and tourism.
“It is not usual to pray for somebody in a programme like this. The Rivers Governor deserves prayers. He is behind some of the good things happening in this sector.
“Culture is the newest thing that will change the narrative of this country. Culture is that thing God gave to man to ensure peace.
“There is problem in this country because we are not respecting each other’s cultures. God is about to start a new beginning in this country that is why we are holding this programme today,” Runewe said.
Dickson: No Govt Funding For Planned Cancer CentreEmmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, yesterday said the proposed cancer centre in honour of his late mother, GoldCoast, would not be funded by the state government.
Madam GoldCoast died recently of lung cancer at the University of Texas M.D Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston, Texas, United States at the age of 72.
Speaking when the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) paid him a condolence visit and pledged their support for the centre, the governor said the Dickson family decided to establish a Centre for Cancer Awareness with the objective of reducing avoidable deaths from the deadly disease.
Dickson made the remark, even as the stateb Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said yesterday that three establishments, including the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation, Cancer Centre and Henry Seriake Dickson Institute would emerge when fully implemented.
The Information Commissioner said having lost his mother to cancer, the governor was passionate to lead the fight against the disease by creating the needed awareness.
The government spokesman noted that even though it is a private initiative, the Bayelsa State Government would partner the foundation to help create the awareness among people of the state on the dangers of the disease and the need for early detection.
Dickson said the centre was designed to operate with donations to the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation, the operators of the centre.
Apart from the PSN; the NMA, the Ijaw Youth Council, women groups, community leaders and other bodies have also indicated interest in supporting the planned Cancer Centre.
The governor also called on traditional rulers of the Niger Delta to give the necessary support to the efforts to create awareness against the spread of cancer
A statement by the governors Special Adviser on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the Deputy President of the PSN, South, Dr. Daniel Orumwhense, as having made the pledge for partnership while leading the body on a condolence visit to the governor in his country home of Orua, Sagbama Local Government Area.
Orumwhense said the PSN was ready to volunteer the services of its experts and ensure availability of original drugs to the centre when it became operational.
He stated also that the pharmacists who graduated in large number from the Bayelsa State-owned Niger Delta University were equipped enough to provide the requisite support to the planned centre.