– N200m to Benue victims
– N500m to Peter Odili’s PAMO University
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, who said in 2016 that the state did not know recession and that its economy was ordained in heaven due to his affinity with the Chiristian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has donated N700m in one week. He first doled out N200m to support victims of herdsmen attacks in Benue State. This expenditure is outside the spending on the trip that took who is who in Rivers State to Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Few hours later, Wike donated N500m to a private university being established by the former governor who is his strong backer, Dr Peter Odili, who has established PAMO University of Medical Sciences. Odili is now the pro-chancellor.
PAMO is short form for Peter and Mary Odili. It began as a private hospital in Port Harcourt years ago. Mary, the wife of the then governor, is a judge and is now justice of the Supreme Court. She established TAP (The Adolescent Project) at Iriebe in Obio/Akpor local council area of the state, close to Eleme Junction. as a pet project believed to be backed by the state government. Now, the facility has been turned into a university.
Dr Odili was Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi’s mentor for years and lined him up as his gubernatorial successor until the Econonomic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, blocked Amaechi. Amaechi went to court on Dr Odili’s support but refused to withdraw the case later on Odili’s say so. This created a crack between political father and son, leading to perpetual hatred.
When Wike, an Amaechi follwer and Odili hater then, fell out with Amaechi and found favour in Dr Odili, the union helped to rally all Amechi haters into one solid camp built around Dr Odili. When Wike won at the Supreme Court where Dr Odili’s wife is a justice, Wike held a thanksgiving service where he gave huge credit for his victory to Dr Odili. Amaechi’s followers interpteted it to mean that Dr Odili used his wife to gain access to and secure victory at the Supreme Court for Wike. Wike denied this and explained what he meant. The relationship between the governor and the Odili political camp has been cosy and close.
Now, the Wike administration says it wants to partner with private investors in education starting with Odili’s PAMO University to promote tertiary education.
The governor thus announced a grant of N500million for the newly established Pamo University of Medical Sciences saying it is to support the development of the school and its students. Many critics have always pelted Wike for cutting off funding from Rivers foreign scholars since 2015 only to pump funds to private persons and universities.
Declaring open the commencement of Pamo University of Medical Sciences during the installation of the Chancellor, Governor Wike said that the state needs more private universities.
The governor stated that to consummate the partnership with Pamo University of Medical Sciences, the State Government will sponsor one hundred students annually for the next five years.
He said the State Government established the College of Medical Sciences at the Rivers State University because of its commitment to train qualified medical doctors.
He said that the people of Rivers State will benefit from the establishment of the university because of the increased opportunities for them to study medicine.
He said: “We will sign a memorandum of understanding with the university for the state government to sponsor 100 students annually for five years “.
Governor Wike commended Former Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili for breaking the ground by investing in the setting up of the university in the state.
He said the Government and people of Rivers State are excited over the establishment of Pamo University of Medical Sciences because it will lead to the training of more qualified medical doctors.
Chancellor of Pamo University of Medical Sciences and Former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar said it is a privilege for him to serve in enhancing the training of more medical doctors.
Pro-Chancellor of Pamo University of Medical Sciences, Peter Odili, said that the idea of the university was initiated after a chance meeting with the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Abubakar Rasheed, who suggested that he should contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the area of Medical Sciences.
Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Abubakar Rasheed, said with very limited spaces for the training of Medical Doctors in existing institutions, the establishment of Pamo University of Medical Sciences was a welcome boost.
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, said the Chancellor of the University and former Head of State, the General, Abdulsalam Abubakar, would add great value to the university through his wealth of knowledge.
Minister of State for Education, Anthony Onwuka, assured the new University of the support of the Federal Ministry of Education as they work towards contributing to the development of the education sector.
Highpoint of the occasion was the installation of General Abdulsalam Abubakar as Chancellor of Pamo University of Medical Sciences by Governor Wike, Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission and the Pro-chancellor of the University, Odili.
Former First Lady of Nigeria, Justice Fati Lami Abubukar commissioned the General Abdulsalami Abubakar Building. Pamo University of Medical Sciences is Nigeria’s first university of medical sciences.