SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, SEN. (DR.) BUKOLA SARAKI ON THE OCCASION OF THE COMMISSIONING AND HANDING OVER OF THE 80-BED HOSPITAL BUILT BY SEN. HASSAN AND DONATED TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AT POTISKUM, YOBE STATE.
1. It is my pleasure to be with all of you today to commission this grand 80-bed hospital that my brother Sen. Hassan Mohammed has built for you, the people of Potiskum. Let me start by thanking the Almighty Allah for making this event possible and congratulate Sen. Hassan Mohammad and the entire people of Potiskum, for such great feat.
2. To build such an imposing edifice at a time like this, is not a mean feat. To build and then transfer by donation, a hospital of this size and capacity to a different government in power other than his party, freely, for the service of his people is a signature statement of extraordinary leadership.This is indeed exceptional and exemplary. For this reason, this hospital will remain a signpost and symbol of selfless service of a son of the Land who loved his people sincerely irrespective of political leaning.
3. For many who may not know Sen. Hassan Mohammad, this may come as a surprise but for some of us who know him, Sen. Hassan’s love for his people has been irrefutable and constant. I remember early in our tenure when floods caused significant damage in the state, how he stood up to be counted for his people. During the recent insurgency, he continued to demonstrate leadership and fearlessness. He was never too far from home.
4. I thank Allah for giving you the fortitude to see this through. I pray that he continues to bless you and elevate you and your family in all that you do. I am also happy that peace has once more returned to this state and to our country. It is remarkable to know that, it was in the thick of the insurgency, fragility and on-going destruction that this audacious project was conceived and executed in record time. This is courage in the face of fire, and I hope that you don’t rest on your oars.
5. I was moved when Senator Mohammad told me he preferred to build this hospital than the typical practice of sharing money to constituents because with the hospital, the lives of many children will be saved; and the lives of many pregnant women will be spared. He knows only too well the tragedy that can happen when access to immediate, medical interventions is not available; when he was involved in an accident in 2015 that cost the precious life of his confidante and left him with five broken ribs. He saw first hand at the time, the dilapidated state of medical facilities and care in his senatorial district and resolved to make a difference. When you are driven from a place of personal experience to find solutions to a problem, you tend to come up with ideas and results that benefit so many more than yourself. And this is what we now have with the provision of this facility. Many of you in Potiskum will no longer need to travel to neighbouring states for medical treatment. This is why I committed to helping Senator Mohammed with getting the support of the Federal Government in the running of this hospital so that its benefits to the people of Potiskum and Yobe at large, are guaranteed and sustained.
6. This is the kind of leaders we find today in the Nigerian Senate; people who are abandoning the practice of yesterday’s politics. It must be strongly lauded that this is a PDP Senator, in an APC led state, donating this edifice to an APC government. The lesson is that what matters is not the political party or the government in power but the love you have for your people and your connection with them.
7. I challenge the Federal Government to ensure that this hospital that been entrusted to them are adequately taken care of, and is run in the highest level of professionalism and efficiency possible. I implore the Ministry of Health to ensure this Hospital continues to receive priority attention both in management and in resource. I expect that this hospital will be run with the highest degree of efficiency possible; and to the good people of Potiskum, I encourage you to use this hospital and demand efficiency in servicefrom the management.
8. On this note, it is my great privilege and honour to commission this hospital to the glory of God and service to humanity.
(DR.) ABUBAKAR BUKOLA SARAKI
PRESIDENT, SENATE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.