Edo government, Esan youths differ on teaching hospital
THE Esan Youth Association has criticised Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State for budgeting N3 billion for an unidentified Specialist Hospital and its site.
It alleged that the government has called for pre-qualification tender (in a newspaper advert) for a Prime Consultant and a Specialist Hospital Equipment Supplier.
The association said the amount in the budget was to actualise the governor’s alleged plan to move the Ambrose Alli University College of Medicine/Teaching Hospital from its natural site in Ekpoma to his home village of Iyamho.
It vowed that, in conjunction with several Esan socio-cultural organisations, it would use everything constitutionally available to resist the relocation of the hospital.
However, the state government has debunked the claim by the association.
Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Louis Odion, on behalf of the government, said the Ambrose Alli University has no teaching hospital.
He told The Guardian: “You need to understand that these are electioneering times when all manners of hustlers go around telling lies to be relevant. This is pure blackmail.
“The truth of the matter is that Ambrose Alli University has no teaching hospital at the moment.
Over the years, the university has had to depend on the generosity of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and later the University of Jos Teaching Hospital to train its medical students.”
“At the moment, they depend on the Irrua Specialist Hospital for the training of their medical students. If there is any such College of Medicine at AAU, I challenge these rumour-mongers to show us the photographs.”
Nonetheless, a statement, ‘Esan Youth Association and Edo State Teaching Hospital Project,’ signed by the association’s president and secretary, Oyomon Francis and Okogie Linus, respectively, holds a contrary view on the issue.
The statement read in part: “Upon investigation (of the newspaper advert), the Esan Youth Association found that a whopping sum of N3 billion has already been put in the Edo State 2015 budget to build the supposed Teaching Hospital, which site, up till now, has not been disclosed.”
“It considers this plan devilish and a calculated attempt by the Oshiomhole administration to defraud the over-taxed, harassed and conquered people of Edo State of the N3 billion for a project, which the people are unaware of.”
“It is cowardly and shameful that a state government, led by a comrade, who would have hit the street if he were not in government, would contemplate advertising for a bid for a project with such a huge sum of money without stating the site.”
“The Edo State Government, led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, should be bold enough to state that it is, indeed, actualising its pipe dream of moving the Ambrose Alli University College of Medicine/Teaching Hospital from its natural site in Ekpoma to his home village, Iyamho.
“The Esan Youth Association, among several Esan socio-cultural organisations, has made its stand clear that it would use everything constitutionally available to resist the movement.”
“We call on all men and women of goodwill to call Comrade Oshiomhole to order, so as not to further aggravate the fragile peace that exists in Edo State due to his divide and rule politics that has left Esan people grossly marginalised in the scheme of things in Edo State.”
But Mr. Odion said as part of its commitment to take Edo to the next level, the Oshiomhole administration was trying to provide the Ambrose Alli University an ultra-modern teaching hospital.
“It does not really matter where it is located in-so-far it is for the benefit of all Edo people,” he said.
“The argument of these political busy-bodies would have made sense if they said Comrade Oshiomhole had not upgraded the facilities at AAU massively in the last six years.”
“The governor has more than tripled the monthly subventions to the university. So, these hirelings are carrying out a political contract,” he stressed.