President Muhammadu Buhari, former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and former Head of State, Gen.
The nation’s leaders spoke yesterday at the official launch of the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation and ground breaking ceremony of the Goldcoast Dickson Cancer Centre at Toru Orua, Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The former rulers, according to a statement by Fidelis Soriwei, Special Adviser on Media Relations to Bayelsa State governor, commended Governor Seriake Dickson for taking the initiative to fight cancer through emphasis on early detection and treatment.
They pledged to support the foundation.
Represented by minister-designate, Dr. Chris Ngige, President Buhari described the establishment of the centre as a step in the right direction designed to prevent avoidable deaths and promised to support it.
Ngige saluted the efforts of the governor in his resolve to fight the dreaded disease.
He said the centre could be the nucleus of a major health institution to save millions of lives and urged Governor Dickson not to be deterred from his vision.
His words: “The president congratulates you on the step you have taken to set up the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation to operate the Goldcoast Dickson Cancer Centre and he describes it as a step in the right direction.
“The president also says the Federal Government is doing a lot in the effort to prevent cancer and wishes to inform you that the Federal Government will readily collaborate with centres like yours.
“On a personal note, as a medical doctor, I want to thank you because it gives me joy when I see a non-medical person doing what you are doing now. This centre could be the nucleus of what Nigeria will use to save many lives.”
Chairman of the occasion, Gen. Abubakar, described the effort as a wonderful philanthropic gesture that is worthy of support and appealed to all to donate generously to the cause.
He stressed that Nigeria was in an urgent need for a well-coordinated action against the disease that is ravaging communities in the country.
Also, Obasanjo praised Dickson for honouring his mother with the setting up of the cancer centre, which, he noted, would go a long way in checking the killer disease.
Obasanjo stated that only those who had come into close contacts with victims of cancer and the traumatic experience would know the magnitude of the pain, anguish and misery being inflicted on the society.
The former president said he was pleased with the other issues the Foundation seeks to address such as record keeping and preservation of the environment.
“When you see what cancer does, particularly the excruciating pain the sufferer goes through, you would want to do everything and anything to comfort those who are victims and, that is exactly what you are doing.
“Cancer can be managed when if it is diagnosed early. The second thing you say your foundation will be doing is what I call institutional memory – one of the things we are very bad at in our country.”
On his part, Jonathan, who pledged to support the foundation, agreed that cancer had become a big problem in the society, stressing the need for collaborative efforts in curbing the disease.
He recalled painfully how the dreaded disease killed his Special Adviser on Strategy and Documentation, and renowned environmentalist, Oronto Douglas.
He said that despite the availability of resources and the desire to fight the disease, he painfully watched his aide die because the disease was diagnosed at an advanced stage.
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, pointed out that when the centre is completed, it would help in reducing capital flight on medical tourism.
According to Prince Secondus, leaders across the country should emulate Dickson by investing in critical areas in the health sector.
In his remarks, Dickson expressed gratitude to President Buhari and other leaders for joining him in honouring the first anniversary of the passage of his mother.
While sharing fond memories of his mother, the governor said the foundation would, among other things, carry out research work aimed at early diagnosis and treatment.
Dickson, who noted that the foundation is part of his efforts to continually contribute to the wellbeing of humanity, urged all to donate time, skills and funds to ensure the success of the project.
“It’s an humble effort on my part to set up this cancer foundation because I thought I should have a vehicle through which I could do some public good for humanity.
“I therefore humbly call on public-spirited individuals and those who have resources to support this worthy cause to stop cancer from ravaging our population.”
Highlight of the occasion was the ground-breaking of the Goldcoast Dickson Cancer Centre by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and commissioning of the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation Office and Library by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
NLC To Resume Kaduna Strike
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has vowed to resume its suspended industrial action, if within the end of its five days warning strike, the Kaduna State government fails to respect the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with workers.
The NLC had on May 19 suspended its warning strike action in the state after three days, following the invitation of the Federal Government in brokering peace between both parties. Addressing journalists at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Tuesday in Abuja, President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, said the resolution to resume the strike action was reached after exhausting all avenues, including writing letters to President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige. Wabba further disclosed that all state councils and affiliate unions have been directed to begin mobilisation of members who have been placed on alert for a nationwide strike which would happen without any further notice. He said: “Whereas, the NLC has remained committed to the process of reconciliation following the intervention by the Federal Government, a MoU was signed and this MoU posited that there should be a 10 person Committee to be able to ensure that all processes and procedures in disengaging any workers conforms with our national law, particularly section 20 of the Labour law.
Twitter Ban: Buhari raises ministerial panel to meet Jack, other company executives
President Muhammadu Buhari has made a move to dialogue with Twitter over the suspension of the microblogging platform after weeks of stand-off.
Pantami, Lai Mohammed, Malami, others to meet Twitter on behalf of FG
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the composition of the Federal Government’s Team to engage with Twitter over the recent suspension of the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in Nigeria.
The approval was announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who will chair the team.
The Federal Government’s team also comprises the Attorney General of the Federation and Honourable Minister of Justice, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment as well as other relevant government agencies.
Following the indefinite suspension of its operations in Nigeria, for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence, Twitter wrote to President Buhari seeking to engage with the Federal Government over the suspension, with a view to charting a path forward.
Special Assistant To The President (Media)
Office of the Minister of Information and Culture
Those thinking that Nigeria will break up are dreaming, they will be disappointed, says VP Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that those waiting for Nigeria to break up will be disappointed, insisting that Nigeria will remain united as a strong nation to the frustration of those waiting to see the country broken into pieces.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the maiden edition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Progressives Youth Conference, Osinbajo said the country is stronger together than in little parts.
In the area of disruption and disruptive innovation, the principle that we are stronger together than in little part is a sound principle and it is my respectful view that those who advocate the breaking up of the country are terribly wrong,” he said.
He added: “Our size is crucial for geopolitical and economic relevance. Our people will be better served by a large populous and diverse country. As with all big and diverse countries, our business is to make this union work; it is to give everybody a sense of belonging.
All of those waiting on the sidelines, hoping that this big country called Nigeria will break up into bits so that they can pick up the pieces, will be very sorely disappointed and I am very sure that those of you who are seated here today will prevent that from happening.”
The vice president acknowledged the need for all Nigerians to be guaranteed a fair chance at improving their human condition and urged the youth to be a part of conversations that will ensure this.
He asked the young generation not just to say it was time for them and for the older people to give way, stressing that such was unlikely to happen.
Osinbajo, however, stated that it was the strength of the ideas and the depth of the youths’ organisation and not age that would retire those ahead of them.
I am also frankly not very impressed with the notion that the role and power of young people are somehow postponed until elders have gone, or that there’s some kind of generational queue to which we all must subscribe.
Even if that was true at some point, today, that notion stands on very weak legs indeed,” he said.
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