There’s a City of David, not in Jerusalem, but in Uburu, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. If the biblical City of David was magnificent, this one is no less so. If the earlier was a sight for sore eyes, the latter equally pulls its weight in grandeur.
Governor Dave Umahi, an accomplished engineer, conceived an ultra-modern state-of-the-art medical university for his state. He turned his idea into action, his dream to reality, and out came spectacular and breathtaking King David University of Medical Sciences, a modern City of David.
There are some Governors whom my principal, President Muhammadu Buhari loves, irrespective of political parties. Long ago, ever before he joined the All Progressives Congress (APC), Engineer Dave Umahi had always been a special one. Even as a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governor, President Buhari had visited Ebonyi in 2017, and stayed the night, something not very common. It was simply because he saw a man making a mark in his domain, and party differences do not matter at that point. Not at all.
King David University of Medical Sciences is envisioned to develop specialized manpower in all aspects of medicine. It is programmed to provide manpower needs to address the challenge of Human Resources for health in line with new global realities and trends.
If you can dream it, and apply yourself to it, then you can achieve it. By July this year, the National Universities Commission had approved the academic citadel Umahi dreamt of.
We have always demanded for world class medical institutions in the country, so that Nigerians do not spend so much on medical tourism. Well, here comes one. In the King David University, there’s a 500-bed teaching hospital, which would compete with the very best in advanced countries of the world. Already, medical equipment are being installed, and best brains being assembled from within and outside the country, to run the facility.
The hospital, according to Prof Jessy Uneke, Vice Chancellor of the university, will produce dialyzers, a special consumable for kidney dialysis, from mid 2022, and also have an oxygen production plant, for medical and other uses.
The university is already being touted as the most beautiful campus in Africa (though we that attended University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, will not readily agree with that). It’s core values are; Excellence, Godliness, Ethics, Compassion, Respect, Delivery, Collaboration, Innovation, Accountability, Learning, Improvement, and Sustainability.
What of the Centers being paraded by the university? They include; Maternity and Child Care, Cancer treatment/Oncology, Eye Centre, Dialysis Centre, Laboratory Unit, Radiology, Oxygen Production Plant, Virology and Quarantine Unit, Dental, Pharmacy, among others.
King David University of Medical Sciences, Uburu, is good thinking, good product. And if you ask me, that is what all our helmsmen in States should do. They should leave their footprints on the sands of time, so that if they aspire for higher offices, the showpiece they have made of their States would stand them in good stead, serve as reference points.
Talking of the hospital, Gov Umahi said: “We are happy that we have opportunity to change the narrative in this direction, and we are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for the financial support in building the Cancer and Isolation Centers.
“It is my prayer that this institution will close the gap that is causing our people to embark on foreign medical trips/ studies as it is designed to solve medical challenges that take our people outside the country.”
The Governor thanks President Buhari for his support. That is the man from Daura for you. Anything that will bring positive changes to bear on the lives of the people, he would support. Recall the humongous refund he approved for Federal roads in a state where the Governor is always abusing him. Malice towards nobody, it’s about our country. That is President Buhari for you.
Where there is no vision, the people perish, says the Good Book, Governor Umahi has the vision of a world class medical university. And he has translated it to action. May we have many more visioners like that in this country.
“There is a River, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God.” (Psalm 46:4). King David University is like that River. It makes us glad. Thank you Governor Umahi. You have ended 2021 on a high, through this project.
*Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity