Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami A. Abubakar and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike have been conferred with honorary doctorate degrees by PAMO University of Medical Sciences, PUMS, Port Harcourt.
General Abubakar, who is also the Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Trustees of the University was conferred with Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) Honoris Causa, while Governor Wike bagged honorary degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) Honoris Causa.
The awardees were on Saturday conferred with the honorary doctorate degrees during the first PUMS convocation ceremony in Port Harcourt, for their distinct contributions to the development, peace, democracy and general good of Nigeria.
General Abubakar in his remarks commended Governor Wike’s administration for offering scholarship to students of Rivers extraction studying in PAMO University.
According to him, the governor’s unrivalled contribution to the development of the University will forever be in the annals of her history.
The former Head of State noted that the success of PUMS is a demonstration of what can be achieved when State Governments come in to support the provision of private education in their respective States.
He urged the Federal Government to extend similar support to private universities through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and other agencies of government through the various initiatives currently being enjoyed only by public institutions.
Governor Wike in his acceptance speech said the government and people of Rivers state are delighted with the establishment of PUMS, and the vast opportunities it has availed youths in the State to become highly educated and skillful medical professionals and practitioners.
He said the state government has maintained and sustained a close, symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship with the University from its inception to date, by identifying with and contributing materially to its steady growth and progress.
“Back in 2017, we instituted a special public scholarship, covering tuition, accommodation and feeding to encourage our indigenous students to take advantage of the University and become graduates and professionals of the areas of interest.
“We have religiously implemented this scholarship programme for four consecutive years with almost 600 beneficiaries as at the last academic session.
“Today, I am very pleased to note that all the graduating students of Rivers State origin are scholars of the Rivers State Government educated and trained with public funds.
“In addition to the scholarship, which now costs well over 2.9 billions of Naira to implement annually, we have also made several generous financial donations towards the infrastructural development of the University.”
He commended former Rivers State governor, Dr. Peter Odili, for establishing the first and only private medical university in the entire South-South geo-political region of Nigeria.
The governor, who attributed his success in life to his faith in God and education, said his political life, just like that of Odili, has been a lesson in devotion, hard work and passion for success and service.
He narrated how his predecessor and current Minister of Transportation, under whose administration he served as Chief of Staff, tried to truncate his political career. “But midway into his first tenure, I got the signal early enough that I have become a foe and penciled down to be politically, brought down, extinguished or terminated.”
Governor Wike explained that although his predecessor had reluctantly included his name among those he nominated to former President Goodluck Jonathan to be appointed as minister, he was never his first or preferred choice.
“He therefore worked twice as hard behind the scene to truncate my confirmation by the Nigerian Senate but failed because God said otherwise. “Moving further forward and when he noticed my ambition to succeed him as the Governor of Rivers State; he immediately drew the battle line and vowed that I could only succeed him over his dead body.
“Our contest was as intense and jugular as typical political enemies. Ultimately, I won and prevailed over him; but he acted the coward by refusing to commit the suicide he had promised if I became the Governor of Rivers State. Thank God he chickened out and did not die.”
Governor Wike announced a N500 million grant to PAMO University; a post graduate scholarship to the overall best graduating student, and N5million reward for each of the best departmental graduating students.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, who delivered the convocation lecture, said private universities have continued to play a vital role in the national development of Nigeria.
He said PAMO University is currently the 19th best private university, and 35th best out of 200 universities in the country.
The Pro- Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Peter Odili, said the management of the institution remain unapologetically committed to total compliance to the rules and sanctions for any breaches by staff and students.
He lauded Governor Wike for offering scholarship to over 600 Rivers State students to study medicine and allied medical courses in PAMO University.
The Vice Chancellor of PAMO University, Professor Michael F.E. Diejomaoh announced that the university graduated 21 students from the Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Physiology.
He explained that all courses in the faculties of Basic Medical Sciences and Allied Health Sciences have been fully accredited by the NUC with high scores.
By: Beemene Tanee
2023: Southern PDP Leaders Consider Fresh Option
Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southern 17 states have begun move to ensure that the presidential ticket is secured by an aspirant from one of the three geo-political zones.
In the alternative, they are also looking at a northerner with strong roots in the South.
The plan, according to sources, is to have a second strategy or an Option B, as it has become obvious that the party leadership will not yield to the demand for the presidential ticket to be specifically zoned to the South.
The Southern leaders are moving to ensure that their delegates vote only for either a particular southern aspirant or to adopt a northern candidate, who is not from the far North.
The strategy of the southern PDP leaders behind this plot is to ensure that the outcome of the PDP primary produces a win-win situation for the South, irrespective of where the candidates come from.
A chieftain, who spoke on phone, said: “We want to ensure that the South converts the disadvantage of the PDP refusing to zone the presidential position to the South in line with the rotation arrangement in the party’s constitution becomes a benefit to us.
“We will work to ensure that the South decides who the presidential candidate is, even if he is not from our zone.
“Southern delegates may come together and choose a northern candidate who has strong roots in the South. He must be somebody who has a close affinity and filial relationship with us. He must be somebody who understands the challenges facing the South and can run a government that is based on equity, justice and inclusiveness, and knows what it is to suffer injustice or the pains of the minority.”
“It is the reason why we will not support aspirants from the far North. We will rather support an aspirant whose zone has not produced any of the two positions in the Presidency. An ideal candidate for the PDP is somebody from either the South or the Northern minority.
“It is the only way we can show that without having a southern candidate; we can have a president who believes he owes the South and that the support of the southern delegates is instrumental to his victory. That means that if the South plays its card very well, it can produce a southern candidate from the North.”
Buhari To Determine Malami,Other Returning Ministers’ Fate – Lai Mohammed
President Muhammadu Buhari will decide the fate of those members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) who made a u-turn on their political ambitions and continue to serve in the current administration.
Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this Wednesday to newsmen after the FEC meeting at the State House, Abuja, said he will need to confirm from the president the status of the returning ministers on whether or not they have been reabsorbed into the cabinet.
He said: “The question about ministers returning or not going, I think you need to give me more time so that I can tell you exactly what the situation is. Right now, I need to cross check. I need to confirm again from Mr President what the situation is. You see the final decision on who is going, who’s coming back, who’s not going lies with Mr. President.”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige; his Women Affairs counterpart, Dame Pauline Tallen; Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timpre Sylva, had earlier rescinded their decision to contest for elective offices in 2023.
Malami was physically present at Wednesday’s Council meeting, while Tallen and Sylva attended the meeting virtually from their various offices in Abuja.
Ngige is said to be away on official engagement in Durban, South Africa, where he is attending the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) global conference on Child Labour.
2023: Ganduje Refuses To Endorse Amaechi For Presidency
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has refused to endorse the former Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, for the presidency come 2023.
Amaechi visited Kano on Wednesday as part of his consultations ahead of the All Progressives Congress’ presidential primary.
The former minister had resigned from President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet to pursue his presidential ambition under the platform of the APC.
At the meeting, with other APC stakeholders present, Ganduje said Kano as a “swing state, will continue to swing.”
He added that Amaechi would know where the state eventually swung to at the right time.
TheTide source gathered that Amaechi, who had told the governor that the people in the APC already knew where Ganduje’s loyalty was, added that he was in Kano to convince him that he was the most qualified among the aspirants.
Our source recalled that when Amaechi visited the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, he was equally not endorsed as the governor told him former Governor Bola Tinubu was their rallying point.
Ganduje is also known to be an ally of Tinubu, who is also aspiring for the Presidency.
Meanwhile, Amaechi said he was more qualified than Tinubu, noting that the former Lagos governor had never been a minister, and even as a lawmaker, Tinubu only served for a few months.
He equally noted that he was more qualified than Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, adding that while Osinbajo was a commissioner in Lagos, he was already a Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly.
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