By Alemma Aliu
OTUO- EQUIPMENT worth N200 million are rotting away at the Edo State-owned General Hospital, Otuo, Owan East Local Government Area, following the apparent reluctance of the state government to put the solar-powered hospital to public use.
Embattled residents of the Otuo and environs have resorted to traditional healers to treat their ailments, while the fully-equipped government facility lay idle.
NDV learned that the hospital is one of the best government hospitals in Edo State, second only to the Stella Obasanjo Women and Children Hospital situated in Benin City, the state capital.
Traditional ruler of Otuo community, HRH Julius Segun Ojeabuo, told NDV that it was regrettable that his subjects had to resort to traditional healers to treat their ailments since they could not directly go to Igarra, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area or Auchi, Estako West Local Government Area.
Previous governments in the state abandoned the structure until the former Adams Oshiomhole’s administration rebuilt it, but was unable to fully equip it and open it for public use before he left office as governor.
His successor, Governor Godwin Obaseki, promised at different times to open the facility to the public and to enhance the capacity of the hospital, but has not yet fulfilled his promise.
Immediate past Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Pally Iraise, who represented Owan Federal Constituency from 2012 to 2019 attracted not less than N200 million-worth of equipment to the hospital, including uninterrupted power through solar energy.
Speaking on his several constituency projects, recently, Iriase said: “The Otuo General Hospital is yet to be functional. It is equipped to a standard that is above the normal standard you find in other hospitals. It is a state government facility.
“The question of why government has decided not to be attracted to do what they must do in order to commission the hospital is what I do not have any idea about.
“I feel bad, I feel sad that people in this community and environs are dying needlessly. Even if the hospital is just a department alone, we are talking about 150,000 persons.
“We have good health facility, but it is not functional. There is total neglect of a good health facility.”
NDV gathered that that one of the reasons for the delay is the need for provision of adequate workforce to operate the hospital, as the governor does not want to open the place without the needed labour to administer the facility.