The Acting Governor of Taraba, Alhaji Garba Umar, on Friday inaugurated the new Takum General Hospital and named it after the Late Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Haruna Tsokwa.
Inaugurating the ultra-modern general hospital, built at the cost of N1.4 billion, Umar said naming the hospital after the late speaker was meant to immortalise his memory and his good legacies.
He said that the gesture was also a mark of honour to a man he described as an embodiment of peace and pillar of progress in the state.
“I say this as a tribute to the memory of our late son, brother, friend, associate and fallen hero. The late Haruna Tsokwa was an embodiment of peace, a pillar of unity and an apostle of progress, who shared very passionately in our zeal to commission this hospital.
“As a mark of respect for his loving memory and the immortalisation of his shining legacy, I hereby approve this new hospital to be known as Haruna Tsokwa Memorial General Hospital, Takum”, Umar said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the crowd that turned out for the inauguration of the hospital jubilated when the acting governor named the hospital after the late speaker.
He said that the process of rebuilding the hospital which was razed down about 13 years ago, following a communal clash in the area, began with the then Gov. Jolly Nyame.
Umar said that the project was continued by Gov. Danbaba Suntai, adding that his commitment to the project in the past one year as a top priority project made its inauguration a reality.
The acting governor said that the money used by the government in constructing and equipping the new hospital would have been channelled to other projects.
He said that this was if the first hospital, built by the missionaries and handed over to the state government, had not been destroyed in the communal clash that occurred several years ago.
The acting governor warned the people not to allow such ugly incident repeat itself.
“The responsibility of protecting and preserving infrastructure and facilities provided for our common good rests on us all. Nobody will come from another community to safeguard what would benefit you.
“We must rise to the occasion by protecting from vandalism and theft, government facilities provided for the good of all in our communities”, he said.
Umar said that he had approved the release of N1 million take-off grant for the hospital as well as allocated an ambulance.
The acting governor said that approval was also given for the employment of 20 junior staff from the locality to complement sanitation efforts at the hospital.
“Apart from providing secondary healthcare services to the people of Takum and the catchment areas of Donga, Ussa, Yangtu and Kurmi, I understand that the State Ministry of Health is also proposing a comprehensive HIV/AIDS Centre and a polio centre here”, Umar said.
The acting governor also inaugurated a rural electrification project in Suntai, home of the ailing Gov. Suntai, as well as a secretariat built for the Yangtu Special Development Area in Kwambai community of the state.
He also inaugurated a police station built by the late Speaker in Manya Village, Takum Local Government Area. (NAN)