Mr Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi has said that he ventured into refugee work as well as offering financial support to health institutions across Nigeria in order to help humanity as well as rebuild the depreciating health sector which serves as a vital component of human existence.
He disclosed that Nigeria needs help, pointing out that providing funds for health facilities is a better way to assist the country to rebuild the depreciating health institutions in many parts of Nigeria.
This, he believed, will afford people the opportunity of receiving sound health so that they can conveniently pursue other interests in life.
Obi said on Sunday, when he visited Madonna Catholic Hospital, Umuahia, where he donated N1.5 million to support the hospital that Nigerian leaders are not getting their priorities right, stressing that majority of them neglect the basic things of life which is health in pursuit of material things.
He was taken round the Modonna School of Nursing and Health Technology, Olokoro being run by the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia through the hospital.
The Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2019 election denied that his philanthropy or his financial support to schools and health institutions has any political undertone.
“I don’t believe in acquiring wealth, buying houses in London, New York and other cities of the world. I’m satisfied with what I have and happy with what I’m doing, helping to save lives across Nigeria and in fact all over the world”, he said.
He explained that the gesture was borne out of his passion for humanitarian service, saying that he began his refugee work before he became the governor of Anambra in 2007.
“I’ve been to Afganistan, Rwanda and Haiti doing refugee work as my contribution to alleviating the plight of citizens of the war-torn African countries and disaster prone areas of the world.
“What I do is planned giving and the intention is to awaken people’s consciousness and consciences about the need to do good for humanity. It has nothing to do with being in government or politics.
“And I want people to know that being in politics is not only about contesting and winning elections, but finding a way to touch lives positively in or outside government,” Peter Obi opined.
According to him, he had so far visited and assisted over 150 schools, which included about 40 health institutions, across the federation, revealing that he has committed over N200 million to the project, which includes cash donations and pledges being redeemed in batches.
On where he generated the funds, the former Anambra governor stated that the funds were raised from his personal resources as well as from support from his friends and people around him, who shared his vision and passion.
“My donations to hospitals are to help defray the bills of indigent patients, who were discharged but could not go home because they could not afford to pay their bills”, he said.
The former governor thanked the Church for intervening to bridge the gap in tackling the health needs of the citizenry.
He said, “The Church is doing what government ought to do. So it is helping government to discharge its responsibility to the people.”
He expressed worry that successive governments in the country had failed to address the critical needs of the citizenry due to corruption and incompetence of some political office holders.
Obi feared that the decreasing population of nurses and other critical health workers in the nation’s health sector “portend great danger, if urgent steps are not taken to reverse the trend”.
He, therefore, admonished the student nurses at the facility, who trooped out to receive him, to be serious and committed to their programmes.
“There has been a progressive and steady depletion in the number of nurses in our health institutions. The situation calls for seriousness on your part because the nation will be in high demand for nurses in future,” Obi said.
Responding, the Administrator of the hospital, Rev. Fr. Christian Anokwuru, who conducted Obi round the facility, thanked him immensely for his visit.
“Your visit is a big surprise to us. We remain eternally grateful to you and pray God to enlarge your coast.
“It is our dream to continue to help government, humanity and society. The Church is putting the structure in place toward realising the dream,” the cleric said.
Anokwuru, along with his assistant, Rev. Fr. Jude Amaechi, later took Obi to inspect the Madonna College of Health Technology, Olokoro, recently built by the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.