That thugs are an element and organ of the present administration in Kogi State is no new story. There are highly sponsored and patronised to a large extent, that they are ready to strike at the command of their paymaster.
There is no gainsaying discussing about their heinous activities in the last four years which is running into another term.
Thugs’ attack on the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja in the early hours of Wednesday, 1st July, 2020 is saddening. It puts the State in the public opium, suggestive of a biblical saying that: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”. The attack was carried out by no other miscreants than the State sponsored thugs. Their mode of operation speaks volumes. The timing and motives succintly captures the mood of the State government. Their target (Federal Medical Centre), Lokoja has further blown their evil deeds of not wanting to hear the truth.
The governor has been consistent that the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic which is currently rattling the world does not exist in Kogi State. But death has been consistently taking away high profile citizens on suspected COVID-19. It’s undisputable, however, that any mortal man or woman can die of any natural cause, but if truth which is sacred be told, is there no COVID-19 in Kogi State. Truly speaking, COVID-19 is presently afflicting people in Kogi State in their numbers!
That being the reason; it is most worrisome and overtly dangerous to extend dirty politics to a Federal Government health agency like the Federal Medical Centre and turn it into a battle ground for surreptitious political reasons. The attack was pre-emptively, due to the FMC’s insistence to hold a press conference on the COVID-19 related issues which also affected the medical personnel in the hospital. The attack left patients in the hospital more traumatised than the ailments that brought them there. Laptops and phones were carted away; as well as wanton destruction of hospital facilities. This is a manifest absurdity at a trying moment of the State.
Regrettably, Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Evangelist Kingsley Fanwo in a statement attributed the dastardly act to “abandoned patients’ families.” What a bunkum at this time of the day? Kogi is no fools’ paradise. Even the unlearned could hear, see, feel and discern that thugs loyal to the State government carried out the atrocities. Fanwo’s reaction was unprofessional, and highly political rather than speaking with tact and wisdom required of a situation like this. In addressing an issue like this, its tripodal in nature and in context and that is, on the side of the State government; the hospital and the Police.
Fanwo’s assertion that relatives of abandoned patients attacked the Federal Medical Centre is in who’s interest? Has he suddenly become the spokesperson for the hospital? How did he come about the statement even when thugs who were well armed spent less than 40 minutes attacking whatever they could see and left the scene before one could say, Jack Robinson!
Officials of the FMC in the statement on Wednesday of that day didn’t link the attack to relatives of abandoned patients as Kingsley Fanwo would want us to believe. So, who’s report do we believe?
Part of FMC’s decision said: “Arising from emergency joint Action Congress (JAC) meeting today, first day of July 2020, we came up with a resolution to suspend the proposed peaceful protest scheduled for today .
“We are totally withdrawing services across board till further notice”, the statement of JAC stressed.
Shedding more light, the JAC noted among others that they are withdrawing services in the hospital till further notice due to “an attack to our lives and properties this morning by unknown hoodlums” that invaded the hospital; That some equipment like infrared thermometers, laptops ATM cards, car keys and two motorcycles that were vital in providing care service to workers were taken away by the hoodlums.
The JAC noted further that because of the high level of destruction visited on the “administrative block”, where valuable materials were carted away, it’s not feasible for the Doctors and health workers to function effectively any longer.
The JAC therefore resolved that until there is guarantee to security of lives and properties and adequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), they will not resume service in the hospital.
Unfortunately, the health sector in Kogi State has collapsed in the last four years. All zonal hospitals across the three Senatorial zones are mere antiquities of interest.
It is recalled that the former SDP gubernatorial candidate, Natasha Akpoti in the last governorship election, donated three (3) ventilators to the FMC to assist in tackling COVID-19 pandemic in the State and one do know that those equipment would be attacked one day.
The only functional hospital in the State is the FMC which was wantonly attacked. It’s a sad moment indeed!
Samson Atekojo Usman is a journalist and Public Affairs analyst
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