LUTH, FNPHY workers insist on CMD’s removal



Workers at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital Yaba (FNPHY) have called for immediate removal of their Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) over expired tenure.

The aggrieved workers, led by medical doctors in the two Lagos Federal-owned hospitals, said only the exit of the helmsmen would restore sanity in the hospitals, and end indefinite strike action particularly at the psychiatric hospital.

It would be recalled that senior doctors, otherwise called consultants, and other workers, under the aegis of Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) have since last week paralysed activities at the FNPHY in protest of Dr. Abolore Lawal’s (their MD) continued stay in office.

Doctors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), said the crisis in the two tertiary facilities were for reasons not unconnected with prolong and illegal stay in office by their bosses and appealed to the Federal Government to help correct the illegality.

Chairman of the Lagos NMA, Dr. Tope Ojo, said that the NMA had particularly watched the FNPHY engulfed in crisis of succession for the office of the incumbent, Dr. Lawal, whose four-year tenure officially expired on August 21, 2015.

According to Ojo, “It must be noted that the current strike embarked upon by the workers of the FNPHY is solely to ensure the termination of the tenure of Dr. Lawal.

“It is therefore unanimously resolved that the current Medical Director, Dr. R.A. Lawal steps down immediately to make way for the process of appointing a new MD in the interest of all stakeholders in the institution and in the interest of numerous Nigerians that the FNPHY serves, failure of which the NMA will use all means possible to ensure that this is achieved,” Ojo said.

He said while the NMA’a position had since been communicated to the hospital’s management, the Federal Government must also wade in to discourage “illegality and lawlessness.”

“We are also aware that there are levels of connivance at the Federal Ministry of Health to keep these MDs in office. But we are assured that we have a good government in place that will not allow flagrant abuse of laws that govern our institutions.”

Chairman of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCAN), FNPHY Branch, Dr. Grace Ijarogbe explained that the crux of the matter was the expired tenure since August 21, 2015, which means Dr. Lawal should have handed over to someone in acting capacity pending the conduct of an interview and a substantive MD is appointed.

Ijarogbe added that since the MD had also attained the age of 60 on January 3, as stipulated by the law “he (Lawal) should have handed over on August 21. That is the normal thing by the Civil Service rule and once that is done, everybody will return to work and everything back to normal”.

The embattled MD, however, described the current strike action as illegal, citing that the Federal Ministry of Health had endorsed his continuous stay in office in acting capacity.

At an August 28 meeting with the doctors and other unions, the MD had shown a letter credited to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) approving his stay in office, but his subordinates kicked against the letter, asking questions about its authenticity.

It was gathered that Lawal had in 2011 came into office in similar circumstance, after his predecessor, Dr. Ladapo H.T.O. refused to vacate the seat.

On LUTH, Ojo said further that it was unfortunate that LUTH had also been faced with incessant strikes since the current MD, Prof. Bode Chris, came on board.

He said that in the light of alleged “mismanagement of funds, intimidation of workers, non-payment of arrears”, it was high time the Federal Government had constituted an inquiry into activities of the institution “before endless and avoidable crisis ensues.”

Ojo said that the NMA observed with displeasure a most recent intimidation and physical attack on a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, identified as Dr. Okunade K.S., his children and pregnant wife in his residence within the LUTH premises at about 1am on August 28, 2015. The Guardian gathered that matter is currently being investigated by the State Security Service (SSS).

“In the light of the of the draconian rule of Prof. Chris Bode and coupled with the fact that he has attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years, it was resolved that the Federal Government should ensure the replacement of Prof. Chris with immediate effect to avert needless crisis and attendant loss of lives,’ he said.

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