A SPEECH PRESENTED BY PROF. AKANEREN ESSIEN FORMER VICE-CHANCELLOR UNIVERSITY OF UYO DURING THE 2ND NATIONAL COLLOQUIUM ON MENTAL HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT TO MARK THE INTERNATIONAL WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY IN AKWA IBOM STATE HELD AT ONYEMA UGOCHUKWU AUDITORIUM, UNIVERSITY OF UYO ON FRIDAY 10TH OCTOBER, 2014.
I am indeed highly honoured to be called upon to chair the 2nd National Colloquium on Mental Health and Development to mark the World Mental Health Day in Akwa Ibom State.
Let me thank Rev. Fr. Dr. Donatus Ukpong the Founder/CEO of Mobile Manna Foundation who had, right from the formative days of this Foundation intimated me and sought my prayerful support for the Foundation. The Foundation went on further to request my charring this year’s Colloquium. I had concluded arrangements to be physically present in today’s event, but for the call to National Duty that could not be adjusted to accommodate this programme. Please find a place in your tender heart to understand my absence and forgive me as well. Thank you and God bless. I wish to express my deep appreciation to Prof. and Dr, Mrs. Eno Ibanga for accepting to stand in for me at very short notice. Please see me in him as he chairs this function.
Words would be inadequate to commend the CEO of this Foundation for the raw courage and passion ploughed into this significant but opt neglected Ministry to the mentally ill persons, who to all intents and purposes need our understanding, affection, and support. It is a herculean task but remembers that with God, all things are possible. Other members of the Board of Trustees and indeed the members of the Foundation are equally commended for this “venture of rescue” they have gladly accepted to embark upon.
The theme for this year’s Colloquium “Living with Schizophrenia in a Developing Economy” is indeed very apt given the fact that the “The Economy” as a dependent variable affected by lots of other variables including the health status of the citizens. This is instructive and further strengthens the need to support this Foundation today to enable them to do more for humanity and for God – a job they have been carrying out since 2008, three years before the incorporation by the Federal Government.
I urge you all who have honoured the invitation to identify heartily and materially with MMF. This way you will be laying treasures in Heaven where neither moth nor rust can corrupt.
Thank you for coming and God bless you all. I miss you all.
Prof. Akaneren I. Essien
Chairman, NUC standing Committee on Private Universities