Dayo Johnson, Akure
ALL is definitely not well with the Federal Medical Center, FMC, Owo, Ondo State.
The tertiary health care center, established 23 years ago, has witnessed one crisis after another in the last two years, no thanks to the politicking in the choice of its Chief Medical Director, CMD.
And certain events in the facility have been giving the workers their worst nightmares.
Some of the events have been linked to powerful forces within the hospital. The forces dictate events in the health care institution.
In fact, they decide the fate of any CMD deployed to the FMC.
Findings by Sunday Vanguard showed that some three years ago, the EFCC stormed the hospital following a petition by some workers alleging embezzlement of funds by the then CMD, Dr Abiodun Olufemi Omotosho.
Consequently, Omotoso was picked alongside four others and arraigned before Justice M I Sani at the Federal High Court sitting in Akure on an eight-count charge.
The said petition chronicled how the former CMD allegedly misappropriated funds meant for the training of staff amongst other allegations.
As if that was not enough, the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at the FMC protested against his continued stay as the head of the institution. All this went on for months thereby disrupting the smooth running of the hospital.
The ARD President , Dr Isaiah Oke, alleged then that the interim administrator was victimizing his members and denying them entitlements.
Omotosho, who fingered members of the association as his accusers, allegedly turned the heat on them, hence the alarm raised by Oke.
The cat and mouse relationship dragged until the Federal Ministry of Health replaced the CMD with Dr Adediran Kolajo. The same ARD protested against Kolajo, accusing him of being tyrannical in the administration of the FMC.
Then hired killers reportedly stormed the private clinic of one of the hospital’s doctors, David Oguntuase, located in Akure, Ondo State capital, and allegedly murdered him before setting his clinic ablaze.
But his colleagues in Ondo State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) cried foul, alleging that Oguntuase was assassinated before his clinic was torched by his assailants.
The deceased has since been immortalized by the state chapter of the NMA which named its building after him.
While the death was still fresh, another doctor, Muyiwa Alonge, was to cry that some people were after his life.
Alonge alleged that gunmen invaded his residence located at Aule, Akure on Christmas day.
Then a pharmacist with the FMC, Mrs Queen Adeyeye, was kidnapped by five gunmen who ambushed her while she and members of her household were returning from a vigil.
Adeyeye was said to have been abducted in front of her house located at Ishelu quarters in Owo. She spent five days in the kidnappers den before she was released after allegedly coughing out some millions as ransom.
Workers, under the aegis of Joint Union of Health Workers of Nigeria (JUHWN), armed with placards, took to the streets to protest the abduction.
The inscriptious on some of the placards read: ‘Say no to kidnapping’, ‘ Save health workers’, ‘ Bring back our staff’.
The latest kidnapping of the Acting Chief Accountant of the FMC, Kayode Asaju, heightened tension in the hospital.
Asaju was said to have led three other officials of the hospital to Abuja on official engagement.
Report had it that on getting to the Lokoja/ Abuja road, penultimate Sunday, the driver noticed that many of the vehicles ahead were suddenly making u-turn.
He reportedly stopped the vehicle.
Following the serious shooting, the officials were said to have alighted from the vehicle and ran into the bush.
But the kidnappers, Sunday Vanguard was told, went straight for their victim and left the others to keep running into the bush.
How the kidnappers were able to identify their victim remains cloudy.
The FMC Acting Chief Accountant was thereafter whisked away and, within 24 hours, the abductors opened negotiation with the wife who works in the same hospital.
Many see this as not a coincidence but a planned work from “ inside”.
Asaju has since been rescued after N2m was allegedly coughed out. The kidnappers were said to have requested for N6m ransom but the sum was negotiated downwards. He, it was learnt, was dropped around Lokoja by his abductors said to be Hausa where the management of the hospital went to convey him back to Owo.
The incumbent CMD, Dr Ahmed Adeagbo, in an interview, allayed the fear that the kidnappings had anything to do with the hospital.
Adeagbo said the pharmacist was kidnapped while returning from a vigil to her house in Owo while the Acting Chief Accountant was abducted on his way to Abuja.
According to him, one person had been arrested in respect of the abduction of Adeyeye while the Acting Chief Accountant was allegedly kidnapped by some Hausa-speaking hoodlums.
Adeagbo said security agents were working to unravel the two incidences of kidnap in the hospital.
Meanwhile, the question on the lips of the FMC workers is, who is the next victim?