BY ABUY ABBA AKHUWA, NOVEMBER 4, 2021 | 09:12 PM
Today, 4th November 2021, the executive governor of Borno state, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum paid an unscheduled 'disguised' visit to Gwange 1 & 2 Clinics, only to meet one staff on duty on a midday. This is not the irony of the disguised visit, the governor discovered how the clinic extort patients of huge amount of money, turning a government owned primary clinic into a private facility.
It is now traditional for government officials to find a way to extort civilians in all front, from security operatives to educational officers, but health personnels extortion of patients is the least expected, considering how noble the profession is regarded.
This is not the first time Zulum will make an impromptu visit and find loopholes in hospital management. On July 19th 2019, Zulum visited Umaru Shehu Ultra Modern Hospital in Maiduguri, to his dismay, Zulum find no doctor on call for the entire duration of the said night duty. In addition, Zulum was said to have expressed dissatisfaction at the poor service delivery to the patients he met at the state medical facilities.
On a similar turn of event on 3rd June 2020, Zulum visited Ngala General Hospital in Gomboru Town, only to discover the sad and similar truth he found out in his previous visit to Umaru Shehu Specialist. He suspended the entire staff of the hospital and received backlash of criticisms from residents.
This act of negligence, irresponsibility and lack of accountability from hospital management boards has turned the governor into a vigilante officer-- with over three years of repeating the same mistake over and over again.
Community leaders in return, were not helping matters. The Gwange 1 and Gwange 2 maternity and primary health care centers are community health care centers that were supposed to be supervised by community leaders of the said area. Over the years, traditional Nigerian way of shouldering primary responsibilities on high elected officials has paved way for corruption to thrive.
It's time for community leaders to take on the baton of leadership in their local communities and ensure transparency and accountability of local agencies.
While the government is only an instrument of power, primary healthcare, education and community policing is the sole responsibility of community leaders.
Malam Abuy Abba Akhuwa, a resident of Gwange 1 Ward, Maiduguri.
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10 January 2022