NMA, FRSC in War of Words over Death of Ekiti Doctors

  • Amid tears, Aladesanmi is buried in Ekiti

Paul Obi in Abuja and Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti
Members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) are currently engaged in a war of words over the remote cause of the fatal accident that left six medical doctors and a driver from Ekiti State dead early this week.

This came as the FRSC was said to have linked the cause of the accident to over speeding, resulting to the ghastly accident and death of six medical doctors and the driver.

But in reaction, a survivor of the accident and Chairman of the National Association of Government and General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP), Dr Ekundare Folu, explained that the comments credited to the FRSC was distasteful and derogatory given the helplessness of the victims at the scene of the accident.

According to Folu, “the comment credited to the Sector Head of Operations, Deputy Corps Commander, Salisu Galadunci, of the FRSC is very unfortunate. This is an FRSC that got to scene of the accident more than 40minutes after the accident.

“This is an FRSC that were reluctant to take us to the hospital claiming they don’t have fuel and didn’t budget until one of the injured promised to buy fuel for them. The Deputy Corps Commander was not at the scene of the accident,” he maintained.

Folu while commending the efforts of Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, said: “Neither himself nor any representative of his spoke to any of the people in the vehicle, six of whom, myself included, survived. The Deputy Corps Commander did not even see the vehicle either at the scene of the accident or at the police station.

“How he jumped to that conclusion is beyond me. The comments are an insult to my dead colleagues and a slap on those of us that survived. For his information this is not a driver we picked off the road to take us for the journey. This is a man that has been working with us for more than four years. He is indirectly telling the world that a bus of 12 doctors including several senior consultants could not control a driver we employed and pay salaries to.

“I was in the same vehicle, sitting in the row behind the driver and I checked the speedometer from time to time. The bus also makes a beeping sound once the speed exceeds 110km/hr. Let me state categorically that the bus driver was not speeding.”

The NAGGMDP chairman accused the FRSC of “probably trying to justify their intention to sell their speed limiting device to Nigerians hence associating every possible accident to excessive speeding. And it is sad that they would even attempt to use such a sad event to do such.

“Even the police would not convey the bodies to the mortuary in their van until we parted with N4,000. I personally dropped N3,000 but the police officer rejected it dropping the money on their vehicle until the NMA chairman, Dr. Akinbote, added N1,500. The second police vehicle that conveyed those of us unhurt and our luggage to join the others to the hospital also had to be topped with N3,500 black market fuel paid for by me,” he said.

Also, a prominent NMA member, Dr. Henry Ewunonu told THISDAY that increasing cases of road accidents had become a source for concern that requires immediate government intervention and drastic action.

Ewunonu further urged the FRSC to scale up its accident response and rescue mechanism; stressing that, “government needs to stop paying lip service to healthcare delivery and ensure that there is at least one functional secondary care centre and general hospital within a 20 kilometre distance.

“FRSC also have to partner relevant organisations to train her men on emergency resuscitation measures in order to enhance their accident and trauma rescue activities,” he said. Meanwhile, one of the six doctors, Dr. Tunde Aladesanmi, was buried yesterday amid tears by his family members and admirers.

The late Chief Surgeon of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti, was interred at his family residence in Araromi Quarters off Adebayo in Ado Ekiti.

The funeral rite was performed at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Life Fountain Cathedral on Bank Road in the state capital.

The state Deputy Governor, Kolapo Olusola, led the state government officials to the ceremony where friends and families extolled the virtues of the late surgeon.

Olusola, who represented Governor Fayose, urged the family to remain firm in God.
“God in his infinite wisdom allows certain things to happen because he knows the end from the beginning. The enemy has not succeeded.”

Pastor Steven Omotayo of Ekiti Province 1, in his sermon, cautioned people against making derogatory remarks during sudden sad occurrence.

“When sudden things happen to you, watch your mouth,” he said.
The President of NMA, Dr. Kayode Obembe, said Aladesanmi imparted positively on people that came across him.
He was represented at the church by the Ogun NMA Chairman, Dr. Adenike Odewabi, who is also the South West Coordinator.

He said: “Even though his life short, it was impactible. We will defend the dream he lived for. We shall live with his principles and ideals. His memory will continue in our minds. He has lived a worthy life.”