…As Buhari Bags Ogoni Chieftaincy Title
The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has said that the proposed Ogoni Specialist Hospital in Wiiyakara, Khana Local Government Area would serve Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River State when completed.
Disclosing this at the presidential flag off of the Center of Excellence for Environmental Restoration, Ogoni Power Project, and the Ogoni Specialist Hospital by President Muhammed Buhari at Wiiyakara on Friday, the Project Coordinator (PC) of HYPREP, Dr. Ferdinand Giadom added that the establishment of the hospital would make up for the absence of a Federal Medical Center in these states.
He said the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) remains the only federal tertiary institution with an overload of patient burden on available facilities, thereby making it expedient for the establishment of another.
Giadom hinted that the Specialist Hospital is also expected to relieve pressures from the existing UPTH when it comes on stream.
According to him, one of the findings from the Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the fact that Ogoni residents are exposed to contaminants that are carcinogenic in nature, adding that the establishment of an Ogoni Specialist Hospital will greatly assuage the incident of emergent cancer cases in Ogoniland and other parts of the Niger Delta who would access the medical facility.
Dr. Giadom commended President Buhari for the other two projects, the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Restoration, and Ogoni Power Project, saying they are both educational and economic in nature and would boost and expand the frontiers of knowledge in environmental remediation as well as catalyze socia-economic development of Ogoniland.
“Your Excellency, as you inaugurate these projects today, not only have you etched your name in gold but have proven your abiding love and commitment to the Ogoni people and their development respectively”, and pledged the commitment of HYPREP to deliver the projects on time, target and on cost.
In his address to flag off the projects, President Mohammed Buhari explained that the event marked the fulfilment of his campaign promise made to Ogoni people in 2015.
“I pledged to implement the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on the Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland which was submitted to the Federal Government four years earlier if elected as the President.
‘It was a solemn pledge to my fellow citizens of Ogoni that deserves urgent economic, social and infrastructural intervention required for a decent living.
“That assurance was redeemed on 2nd June 2016 when I flagged off the Ogoniland clean-up project at the Patrick waterfront in Bodo, Gokana Local Government Area”, said, adding that the Ogoni clean-up is not the only project being undertaken by his administration as the construction of the Bodo/Bonny Road is ongoing.
Minister of Environment, Barrister Mohammed Abdulahi who also spoke at the event, said the projects flag off has set the path of prosperity of Ogoni.
He said the novel projects has once more engraved the name of President Buhari in gold and never to be forgotten in the annals of history.
The Minister said the actualisation of the Power Project marks the beginning of the transformation of socio-economic potentials of Ogoniland and increase agro-allied activities which would return Ogoni to its erstwhile status as the food basket of the Niger Delta.
He noted that the sustained and efficient management of these facilities would be a top priority, so that they continue to function effectively and serve the purpose for which they were established.
Earlier in his goodwill message, HYPREP’s Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Nwielaghi Barieenee Michael thanked the President for touching the lives and environment of Ogoni people.
He commended him for appointing Ogoni professionals into the Governing Council and Board of Trustees of HYPREP, adding that the love and support Ogoni people have for him will not diminish.
Highlight of the event which was graced by other dignitaries including the member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Ho. Dum Dekor and prominent traditional rulers, was conferment of Ogoni chieftaincy title of ‘Ghene Goo’ of Ogoniland on President Buhari.