By BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE
A group, Equity Mandate Forum, EMF, has called on the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, to resign, following the unsettled controversy surrounding the appointment of the new Chief Medical Director of Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, NAUTH, Nnewi.
In a statement by the Chairman, Dr. Usman Bello, and the Publicity Secretary, Mr Onyibo Daniel, the group posited that the health minister was biased and supporting illegality, stressing that Nigerians would not fold their arms and watch the situation degenerates into crisis or administrative collapse of the health institution.
It said: “The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, made an explicit provision of a tenure of three months unless renewed by appropriate authorities, except on the state of emergency proclamation which has a tenure of six months and can be renewed only by the National Assembly as stipulated in Section 305.
“But contrary to this provision, our investigations reveal that Dr. Anthony Igwegbe resumed as acting CMD in January 2013 and the tenure expired in March, 2013 when the substantive CMD should resume”.
“We have it from a reliable source that President Goodluck Jonathan has since March 2013 appointed the substantive CMD after all due processes have been completed. For the avoidance of doubt all actions taken by Dr. Anthony Igwegbe from April 2013 remains illegal, null and void and of no effect, since his tenure of office expires on March 2013 and he was never confirmed.”
According to the group, the statement credited to NAUTH Board Chairman, Professor Ivara. E. Esu, claiming that there is no CMD crisis in NAUTH is false, baseless and most deceitful.
“We wondered why the health minister knowing all this fact refused to make the substantive CMD public and Gazette it. Thereby supporting or sponsoring such monumental illegality in NAUTH. Whose interest is the Health Minister serving or protecting one must ask?” The group queried.
It called on the Prof Chukwu to quit office forthwith, adding that failing to do so would continue to sabotage the agenda of President Good1uck Jonathan.