The first Military Governor of old Rivers State and the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, HRM. King Alfred Papapreye Diete Spiff, chaired the launching of the first Port Harcourt Cancer Center at the weekend. The event took place at the Civic Centre, Moscow Road, Port Harcourt. It will bring on board the first comprehensive cancer center in Nigeria.
Declaring the event open, King Alfred Diete-Spiff said Cancer is the most feared disease in the world, killing thousands every year, adding that cigarette smoking and carcinogen are elements that increase cancer in the body.
He said the cure to the dreaded diseases was first discovered by Dr. Stephen Roxenberg and called on all to support the project and that the Government of Bayelsa State has indicated interest in building similar project in Yenagoa and Otueke. His Royal Majesty said Rivers State is at a high risk because of the activities of oil explorations which was also contained in the UNEP report on Ogoni Land and warned that if urgent step is not taken, cancer cases will spring up in time to come.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Board of Trustee of the cancer center, Mr. O.C.J Okocha (SAN), said since Port Harcourt will soon celebrate its 100 years of existence, it is high time people availed themselves to be part of this history by contributing to the programme, advising both government and corporate organizations and well-meaning individuals to support the center.
Earlier, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson represented by Mrs. Gloria Izorfu, said the Governor is keen and that the project needed to be sustained to win the fight against cancer.
In his goodwill message, the chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, Apostle Zilly Aggrey promised to mobilize the members of CAN and his own church to be part of the wonderful project.
Speaking to the press shortly after the event HRM Suanu T.Y Baridam, JP, Gbenemene Bangha II and member, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, commended the organizers for such a wonderful program that would stand the test of time.
In her Remarks, the vice Chairman, BOT HRM. Dr. Josephine Diete-Spiff, lamented the poor attendance, but hoped that subsequently it would improve. The Lead Servant/Coordinator, Revd. Dr. Kin Egwuonwu, in his lecture, demonstrated how the Nigerian political class go to India to treat cancer and other ailments without looking inward to build such health facilities in Nigeria despite being rich in mineral resources. ###