Labour unions in the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu on Tuesday, debunked the alleged protest by the staff of the hospital against the Management of Prof Monday Igwe, the Medical Director.
The unions made up of the Joint Health Sector Union, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Association of Resident Doctors, and the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria of the hospital, however, condemned the attempt by policemen from Zone 13, Anambra State to abduct the MD, under whatever guise.
They called on the Inspector General of Police and the Federal Ministry of Health to investigate the matter.
They also demanded that all the policemen who were clearly procured to abduct the hospital MD and their sponsors be brought to justice.
The workers lamented that one individual cannot be allowed to continue to cause confusion and destabilise the entire institution because of personal ambition.
A purported coalition of Civil Society Organisations had staged a protest in the early hours of August 30, against the MD of the hospital and gave him 72 hours to reopen the hospital’s School of Post Basic Nursing.
The said group led by one Comrade Onyebuchi Igboke, claimed that they were not happy with the closure of the school.
According to Igboke, the closure was jeopardising the future of the affected students. He called on the Minister of Health, Prof. Ali Pate, to intervene in the crisis rocking the hospital
However, addressing journalists in a joint press conference at the hospital’s auditorium on Tuesday, the labour unions described the so-called protest by CSOs as fake and staged by hired thugs.
The hospital’s chapter Chair of the Medical and Dental Consultant Association of Nigerian, Dr Jen Nnabuchi, lamented that four staff of the hospital had been brutally killed in inexplicable circumstances that might not be unconnected with selfish tussle in the facility.
“We hereby debunk the stage-managed protest by a group of hired thugs that called themselves Civil Society Organisation alleging that there is no peace in the hospital and that the workers are unhappy alongside other allegations levelled against the Medical Director.
“We hereby state categorically that the piece of information is not only false, but was made to mislead the general public and to cause confusion.”
The labour unions in a joint declaration stated that, “there is no crisis in our hospital, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu. That our hospital is peaceful and workers are happy with the administration of the Medical Director, Prof Monday Igwe.
“That the stage-managed protest on 30th August, 2023, was done by thugs hired to discredit and destabilise the Medical Director and our hospital’s activity.
“We want to challenge anybody on that protest video circulating around to provide any proof of identity as staff of Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu or student of the School of Post Basic Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing of our hospital.
“Ordinarily, we would have ignored the publication and the perpetrators of this dastardly and worthless act, but we are issuing a rejoinder to stop them from misleading the general public and most importantly, to put the information in the proper perspective.”
The unions, however, regretted the level of impunity by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force in causing confusion and enthroning illegality in the society.
“On Thursday September 14, 2023, we also witnessed a sponsored attempt at harassing and abducting our Medical Director under the guise of “arrest” by three unidentified police officers who came with an unmarked Sienna vehicle from Ukpo, Anambra State.
“The situation created a scene and disrupted the activities of the hospital Community and would have escalated to an uglier scenario if not for the intervention of Enugu State Police Command.
“It is worthy of note that unions from our hospital have written to the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on several occasions in the past regarding the obnoxious activities of this particular staff of school of post basic psychiatric and mental health nursing of our hospital who is behind all the negative activities in the hospital since 2015 and all these have been to no avail.
“The Federal Government and of course, the general public are advised to disregard the publication by this staff and his cohorts whose primary aim is to drag the name of our peaceful and hardworking Medical Director in the mud.”
The unions, then, listed staff that had been killed in the hospital since 2015 without police proper investigation till date as “Late Helen Agu, former Vice Principal of the School of Post Basic Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing.
“Helen Eze, nurse who was killed few days after she gave testimony in the church about the activities of same individual staff. Another staff was Late Dr Mrs Maria Amadi, Head of Nursing Services of the hospital and Late Alozie Ejimadu, former Chairman, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives.”