By: Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Workers of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Idi-Aba, Abeokuta under the aegis of Joint Action Committee of Unions/ Associations on Tuesday, kicked against alleged imposition of a candidate to be appointed as the Medical Director by the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole.
One Prof Adewale Abdulsemiu Musa was said to be anointed candidate of the Minister, but workers demanded an “insider” for the top seat, who according to them, knows where shoe pinches.
They also demanded promotion for workers who are due for it.
In a protest which lasted for about one hour, the aggrieved workers sang solidarity songs and bore placards with various inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions are: “Listen To Us Vice President and Appoint An Insider As Substantive MD”, “Prof Musa Is Anointed Candidate Of Minister of Health, No! No!!, No!!!” and “Give us A Medical Director who has contributed to the development of FMC, Abeokuta, “No Room For Prof Musa in FMC Abeokuta.”
Others are: “Give Us Our Promotion”, “No External Aggression,” “Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacist, Social-Workers, Health-Records Officers, Administrators, Accountants In FMCA Say No To Musa.”
In a communique addressed to the Minister of Health Office, the protesting workers told Adewole that Musa’s appointment “would be a recipe for anarchy and industrial disharmony.”
Dated June 28, 2017, the communique was jointly signed by Acting Chairman of Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Dr O.G Awodein; the President, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Dr B.A Taiwo; the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Mrs A.G Fatoyinbo and the Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institute and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI), Mr S.O Idowu.
The joint committee also alleged that the appointment interview did not follow due process and it outcome had been skewed in favour of Musa.
The communique said “That the prevailing peaceful atmosphere under which patients receive care should not be jeopardized by the Ministry of Health by hobnobbing Professor Musa who is the “anointed” candidate of the Ministry to emerge as the substantive Medical Director.
“That a candidate from the over 65 qualified Consultants on the payroll of the FMC especially those who applied for this appointment should be appointed as substantive Medical Director to sustain the prevailing peace as against an external aggressor who is not abreast of on goings in the centre.
“That the Presidency whose prerogative of appointment we duly acknowledge should not be misled into appointing an external party but give us a substabtive Medical Director from within.”
Addressing the protesters, FMC Acting MD, Dr Kehinde Hunyinbo told them that the Federal Government has power to appoint a new MD and urged them to be peaceful in their demonstration.
Hunyinbo said: “I am the acting Medical Director not the substantive MD. It is the government that will appoint the substantive Medical Director. But what I was told that someone outside FMC who went through the examination will be brought in, and that is why people are protesting. But that is left for the government.
“For me, I will encourage them to be solemn in whatever they do. We are not against the patients. Let them go back to work and treat the patients.”
He promised that those workers due for promotion would be promoted at the right time.
“As par promotion, any worker who works well and satisfies criteria for promotion, need to be promoted. During the last promotion exercise, many were promoted but small portion was not promoted. So, when the time comes for next exercise, those that need to be promoted will be promoted,” the Ag MD said.