Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum has suspended the entire workers of a hospital in the state for abandonment of duty post.
The governor, who paid an unscheduled visit to the hospital, General Hospital in Ngala, a town with border with Cameroon Republic, discovered that the resident medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians, all on the payroll of the government were nowhere in sight.
The governor was furious that the entire staff despite receiving government salaries, abandoned the hospital to an international non-governmental organisation, fhi360, to manage the hundreds of patients, majority of them, IDPs and residents of Ngala.
Ngala, which also has border with Chad, links Nigeria by road with Sudan and Central Africa Republic.
Having been liberated from Boko Haram’s control in 2015, Ngala is currently populated by thousands of returnees, many of whom are internally displaced persons (IDPs) that were forced to flee their villages and farmlands in the wake of attacks by the terrorist group.
Zulum who have taken to the style of paying surprise midnight and daytime visits to schools and hospitals, showed up at the General Hospital in Ngala, in order to find out the realities of healthcare delivery to residents.
The governor was disappointed to find out that despite high turn-out of patients, not one of the many government paid staff, from doctors down to clerical staff, was at the hospital as at 11am.
Zulum, who was received on arrival at the hospital, by a field coordinator of fhi360, the iNGO left in control of the hospital, was saddened by what he found on ground, and immediately ordered the suspension of all staff on the payroll of Borno State Government.
The governor said: “This is a General Hospital belonging to Borno State Government; unfortunately, there is no single state government staff here to attend to all these patients, and we promptly pay all of them salaries.
“These humanitarian workers from the iNGO (fhi360) are supposed to complement the state government staff but not to completely take over the hospital. I am directing the Borno State Hospitals Management Board, if there is any staff on the payroll of this hospital, to immediately suspend all the workers on government payroll. I will be back to this hospital, hoping to see the opposite of what I saw today.”