Bayelsa State Governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson on Tuesday called for concerted action against the reality and dangers of the cancer scourge by creating awareness on early detection and treatment of the terminal disease.
Governor Dickson made the call when he received members of the Bench in the State led by the State Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Kate Abiri in his hometown, Toru Orua, over the passing of his mother,Mrs Goldcoast Dickson.
In a press release signed by the Governor’s Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Daniel Alabrah, Governor Dickson was quoted as saying that, early detection of cancer is crucial to the treatment,as the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation would soon be set up to spear head the worthy cause in memory of his mother, whom he lost to cancer of the lungs.
He decried the effects of environmental pollution on the people of the Niger Delta, who bear the brunt of various gaseous emissions occasioned by several decades of oil exploration and exploitation activities in the region.
He, therefore, canvassed the support of all well-meaning individuals, public spirited organizations to the foundation, particularly, members of the Bench and the Bar, Nigeria Medical Association and the church to make the humanitarian initiative a success.
Governor Dickson, who urged leaders of churches to lead the crusade against cancer, noted that, they have the capacity to reach out to all towards joining hands to create awareness about the reality of the disease as well as mobilise resources, skills and other voluntary services reduce the scourge.
He also commiserated with the Chief Judge, who recently lost her sister to cancer, stressing that, the battle against the ailment is a collective task and the foundation when unveiled,would be a non-governmental organization.
His words: “My foundation has been doing a number of things quietly and I was thinking that by the time around off, I will use it as a tool for public service to help vulnerable people and pursuing causes that I believe in. The loss of my mother to cancer has brought me out far earlier than I would have loved to. So we are going to launch the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation, which will mobilize funds,resources, skills, whatever for the building of the cancer centre in her name here in Toru Orua.
“That will give us the opportunity to enlighten people about the reality and dangers of cancer and see if we can mobilize enough funds to sponsor and offer free cancer screening because the way we see it, the key to treatment is early detection of the disease. So we want to work with international partners as well including the hospital that treated my mother.
“Let us work together, the churches, Nigeria Medical Association, members of the Bar and Bench and all people and organizations of goodwill need to collaborate to stop the death from cancer.”
In her remarks, the State Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, extolled the sterling qualities of late Mrs Goldcoast Dickson whom she noted, was a confidant, pillar of support to the Dickson family and a devout Christian.
Justice Abiri who expressed shock and sadness over Mrs Goldcoast Dickson’s departure, urged the bereaved Dickson family to take heart, noting that, at times like these, one is reminded to appreciate life more.
She prayed God to grant the Dicksonfamily the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss
and the departed soul, repose in the blossom of the Lord.