Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State defended the N 500 million gift that his government gave in support of the PAMO University of Medical Sciences, founded by former governor Peter Odili.
Wike has offered to build two hostels at the University but said that his government would support anyone else in Rivers who established a private university.
Speaking during the first day of the University’s founding in Elelenwo, Wike challenged all the men and women in Rivers who can establish a university to do so, saying that the state government would support that person.
“This is the first Rivers State University that is privately owned. If the government does not support it, who would? I owe no apologies to those who criticize our support for this particular University,” he said.
The criticisms were frequent because the time may have come when the governor won his Supreme Court case, after losing both in court and in the court of appeal. Many tried unsuccessfully to link Wike’s victory to Odili.
The governor, however, said on Monday: “We gave scholarships to our children in all academic sessions. Not less than 100 of them. They are Rivers’ children. Supporting means that you want the good of the people of Rivers State. If that University had not been established, those lucky enough to study medicine and other related courses would have found it difficult. It is good that this University was able to create access for our children to study medicine. For us as a government, we will not look back. We will continue to support this university”.
Former Nigeria head of State and chancellor of the Pamo University of Medical Sciences, Abdulsalami Abubakar, said the University dedicated to medical education is now growing rapidly.
Bala Mohammed, the governor of Bauchi State, praised Wike for his commitment to the overall development of Rivers state infrastructure and praised Odili for creating such a university.
Chris Ngige, Minister of Labor and Productivity, awarded an award for anatomy, biochemistry and physiology, saying that the best student in the area mentioned would be rewarded generously.
Odili thanked Wike for the pomp and ceremony he added to all of the institution’s events, adding that all students sponsored by the state government of Rivers at the University are up to date in paying fees.
The executive secretary of NUC (National Universities Commission), Abubakar Rasheed, said that the NUC is proud to be associated with the University of Medical Sciences Pamo for its achievements in the short period in which the school existed.
Vice-Chancellor of the University, M.F.E. Diejomaoh, praised Odili’s prediction for ensuring that the University became a reality, saying that the University’s vision is to be one of the best medical training institutions in the country.