…As Jim Nwobodo Backs South East Governors on Regional Security
By Agnes Nworie
Ebonyi State government has completed modalities to begin local production of dialyzers for treatment of renal patients, even as the first civilian Governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Ifeanyichukwu Nwobodo, has come out strongly in support of regional security outfit for the South East.
Governor David Umahi disclosed this in Abakaliki while speaking at the 7th to 11th combined convocation ceremony of Ebonyi State University.
The Governor noted that the achievement was aimed at not only stemming the rising tide of medical tourism abroad with its attendant capital flights but also to guarantee quality and affordable healthcare delivery to its citizens and beyond.
He further disclosed that the ultramodern University Teaching Hospital built for the University by the State government would be commissioned soon, while the sum of over N3b has been approved for commencement of its equipment with medical facilities.
According to the Governor, the hospital has been designed to provide specialised health and medical services in line with global best practices and admonished the convoking students to be good ambassadors of both their alma mater and the State in general.
He said, “We are building a teaching hospital and will soon commence the production of dialyzers, which is the most expensive part in the management of dialysis for kidney patients. We are building kidney transplant, liver transplant there and we have dialysis Centers. We also have the best eye centre there.”
Meanwhile, Second Republic Governor of Old Anambra state, Senator Jim Nwobodo has backed the decision of Governors of the South East zone to form regional security outfit in the mode of Amotekun.
Nwobodo who was conferred with an award of Doctor of Law (LLD Honoris Causa) during 7th to 11th convocation ceremony of Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Abakaliki decried that farmers no longer go to farm for fear of attacks.
The Ex- Governor also lamented that there were many deaths in the region now, as a result of insecurity, noting that community had been there without addressing the situation.
He said that the only thing the Governors can do now is bravely establish regional security and ensure that all the State Houses of Assembly in the zone passed a law to back it up.
Other awardees are: Sir Cletus Ibeto, Doctor of Business Administration (Honoris Causa); former Governor of Ebonyi state, Chief Martin Elechi, Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) and Major-Gen Obi Umahi, Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa)
Nwobodo said, “My advice to our leaders, particularly the governors is that they should be bold and take things straight on once their conscience tells them that what they are doing is right.”
“The job of a leader is the Security and welfare of your people, particularly the people you must lead, you must secure them, you must show them you care for them and the only way you can care for them is you don’t joke with them.”
“There is a difference between being careful and being afraid. I want our Governors to work as a team and build unity. I want them to take seriously the issue of security, because we have lost many lives and I think that I really like what the South west governors did by coming together and introducing joint security code named Operation Amotekun and they succeeded.”
“All their Houses of Assembly have worked on the law and they passed it and it had been signed into law. I am proud of that. Our own governors think differently but I disagree with them. They are talking about community policing or whatever it is called – community policing has been there before now, community policing will continue to be there.”
“What I am saying as an elder statesman is that they should take complete control of the security of our people without clashing with the police and in doing that they should follow the example of the South West, there is nothing wrong in doing what is good. If I am doing something and somebody has come up with something better I will follow it. I lost nothing by doing that; in fact it shows intelligence to see what is good and follow it.
“So what they should do is exactly what the west has done, get their Houses to pass laws and use these laws to form a block to protect your people. Protection is not easy and nobody wants to joke with his life; take for instance what is happening now with coronavirus – the world is shaking, the whole world is shaking because of life; this one is not by gun this is just virus that attack you and kill and they are taking measures all over the world to stop it.”
“I am proud and I was the first to establish the University of Technology in Nigeria and nobody else. I did it and when I was doing it people were laughing; federal government laughed at me and how much did I used to start it – N3 million. Three million naira I used to start three campuses: one million for this, one million for that and it was like a play and we started growing and money started coming because no parents – no father, no mother will joke with the education of his or her child,” Nwobodo said.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Chigozie Ogbu in his welcome address, said the overall objectives of this administration was to develop the university to rank among the best citadels of learning in the world with excellence in teaching, learning, research, character and community service.
He noted that the university under the current administration has made significant progress and growth in the area of learning and academic excellence.
Ogbu added: “We have embarked on strengthening our programmes in line with the National Universities Commission standards, and creating a conducive environment for learning”.
The event featured award of first degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, other Higher Degrees and Honorary Degrees of various categories.
Among those who received honorary degrees were the immediate past Governor of Ebonyi state Chief Martin Elechi, the former Governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, former Squadron leader and General Officer Commanding 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Obi Umahi (retired) as well as a notable industrialist Cletus Ibeto and host of other notable achievers.
This was in recognition of their outstanding contributions and excellent performance in the service of humanity.