By Ndahi Marama – Maiduguri
Security operatives under the employ of Crown Guard, a private outfit based in Borno State on Monday morning shut down all entry points/gates of University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), following non-payment of their four months salaries.
The operatives also halted medical services, as staff were not allowed to attend to any patients at the wards, including the Accident and Emergency, Intensive Care Units, and the COVID-19 isolation centre.
A Nurse who did not want his name mentioned in print told our correspondent that the situation is pathetic, as lives have been put at stake.
He said, “I am supposed to be on duty this morning, but all of a sudden, upon reaching our main gate, we were not allowed entry as all the gates were under key and lock.
“When some of us make enquiries to what happened, we were informed that our security guards were behind the move for non-payment of their four months salaries/allowances.
“I have no option than to go back home, as there is nothing I can do”. He said.
Speaking to one of the agitating security guards who also proved anonymous, said, they were tired with the exploitation going on in the institution, especially regarding the welfare of security operatives.
“Although, we are not under the direct employment of the UMTH, as we are under a private security outfit known as Crown Guard, it is disheartening to tell you that the little amount of salaries given to us as ‘take-home’ have not been paid in the last four months.
“We complained and became exhausted. Unfortunately, we were made to understand that our Employer connives with UMTH authorities to short change us, we only receive 25% of the total sum agreement of our monthly stipends, regrettably, as I am talking to you now, we have not been paid our salaries for the past four months and nothing for our family to eat despite the economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have family to carter for, some of us pay daily transport and feeding to come here and work. We are seriously disturbed and have no option than to react this way,” said one of the security guard.
All efforts to get confirmation from the Chief Medical Director, Professor Ahmed Ahidjo proved abortive at press time.