Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Barr George Ariolu says the construction of Dr Peter Odili Cancer & Cardiovascular Diseases Diagnostic and Treatment Centre by the Rivers State Government will reduce the high rate of medical tourism abroad.
He said the cancer and cardiovascular centre which is equipped to international best standards is one of the signature projects of Governor Wike and remains the best in Nigeria.
Ariolu spoke at the inauguration of the Dr Peter Odili Cancer & Cardiovascular Diagnostic Treatment Centre in Rumuokwuta.
“The joy here is that he (Wike) has touched every facet, every department of government and governance. This is the health sector and this is the first of its kind in the whole of Nigeria. Some persons has said in the whole of West Africa.”
“So you can see that it is a signature project. For me, I don’t see it as any other project that he has done for Rivers people. This is a donation coming from a benevolent soul to mankind.”
He stressed that cancer and cardiovascular diseases have contributed to the high rate of deaths recorded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) across the world.
“If you look at the World Health Organisation record, cancer and cardiovascular diseases are the major cause of high profile death in the whole world.”
“For him to have brought this to the people and you know that we’ve not had this here before, people used to travel overseas for such diagnostic treatments but today we have it closer to us. Like I said, its going to cut off this issue of medical tourism abroad.”
He used the opportunity to express elation for the flag-off and inauguration of the facility which was achieved during his time as Chairman.
Ariolu described the inauguration as an epoch-making event, adding that the treatment centre through its world class facilities will save lives in the country.
On his part, former governor of Rivers State, Sir Dr Peter Odili who joked about Wike’s profession declared him as the best governor in Rivers State and Nigeria.
This declaration he said, follows Governor Wike’s sterling performance in the delivery of unprecedented infrastructural projects in the State.
He said Wike would have been better placed as a medical practitioner following his tremendous achievements in the medical sector.
He pointed that Governor Wike has made governace look very easy through prudent management of Rivers resources, adding that the sky is his habitual takeoff point.
He stressed that even the opposition has confirmed Governor Wike’s prowess in governance following his recent decoration with the “Distinguished Award in Infrastructure Delivery” by the APC-led federal government.
He also appealed to the Special Guest of Honour, Emir of Kano, HRH Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero CFR to use the occasion to strengthen the existing relationship between Rivers and Kano States.
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who spoke at the commissioning explained that he invited leaders of the opposition parties to inaugurate projects in the state because it is within his rights to choose whoever he pleases to undertake such assignment.
He asked those who felt slighted for ignoring them to also execute projects in their various states and invite to inaugurate them.
Speaking further, Governor Wike confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari would be in the state to inaugurate the Port Harcourt Campus of the Nigerian Law School.
He explained that he named the project after Odili because of his service to humanity as a former Governor and medical practitioner.
He maintained that Odili distinguished himself for not abandoning Rivers people and relocating to Abuja to join others who had developed the habit of forming associations to seek relevance and run around a presidential candidate.
The Governor said he will outsource the maintenance of the newly built Dr Peter Odili Cancer, Cardiovascular Diagnostic Treatment Centre to foreign partners.
He added that he cannot leave the facility under the care of the state’s Ministry of health as they are not capable of managing a facility of that magnitude.
Wike who thanked Julius Berger for partnering with the Rivers State Government and also delivering a standard facility in agreed time, said the Consular General of American Embassy has agreed to partner with the state and has made contact with those who run hospitals overseas to come and manage the world class centre.
Emir of Kano, HRH Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero CFR, while performing the inauguration of the medical facility, commended Governor Wike for fulfilling on his promises to Rivers people. He prayed for the Governor to achieve greater heights which will continue to benefit Rivers State and Nigerians.
He also assured the Governor that he will continue to work towards strengthening the ties that exist between Rivers and Kano.