Group Protests Against Alleged Racketeering

A group, under the aegis of Advocates For Good Governance on Monday, protested against alleged poor service delivery at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra.

The group, which gathered at the hospital gate with varying placards,  also alleged cases of job sale and racketeering and financial impropriety by the management.

In a letter entitled “Abuse Of Due Process, Racketeering, Extortion, Graft And Celebration Of Corruption At Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi”, the group faulted the selection process of the Chief Medical Director.

According to the group, which claimed anonymity, patients and their relations, staff of NAUTH and residents of Anambra are against the poor services rendered at the hospital.

“There is lack of drugs in the hospital, the most painful being absence of drugs at the emergency and theatre units, leading to patients being frequently asked to go outside the hospital to procure drugs.

“Surgical operations are frequently postponed due to the lack of materials in the theatre, leading to patients death in emergency situations and wounds unattended to for days due to lack of materials for dressing.

“As members of Advocates for Good Governance and interested parties, we were quite concerned and alarmed to discover that jobs are racketeered and sold, this leads to recruitment of unqualified personnel.

“We have decided to carry out a peaceful protest to sensitise the public on what is happening in NAUTH, the only federal medical institution in Anambra and demand for the cancellation of the whole selection process of the CMD.

“Dissolution of the present hospital management board because they can never oversee a free, fair and transparent process, they are already compromised and are part of the ongoing corruption in the place.

“Dr Joseph Ugboaja should step aside as Acting CMD and participate with others on a level playing ground,” the protesters stated.

In a reaction, Ugboaja said he was aware of the protest, dismissing the protesters as faceless and paid miscreants.

He said that the protesters were sponsored by members of the hospital community who lost out in the contest and wished to blackmail the management and mislead the public.

He said that there was procedure for seeking redress for perceived infractions rather than making public show with the use of miscreants.

“Those people cannot be taken seriously, they are miscreants who did not even know what they were gathered for, the hospital is a public place, the processes are open, there are official channels for seeking redress.

“It is sad that members of the hospital community can sponsor such propaganda, whoever is not satisfied with anything should follow the right channel, which includes the Hospital Board and the Ministry of Health.

“The people behind it are not happy that they lost even though they know nothing about hospital management,” he said.

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