Protesting Workers Again Shutdown FMC Owerri | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Protesting Workers Again Shutdown FMC Owerri

Federal Medical Centre, Keffi
Posted: Oct 19, 2016 at 6:57 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Vincent Anolu
The Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Owerri, was Wednesday shutdown for the second time by workers in the establishment who trooped out en-masse to protest the return of Dr. Angela Uwakwem, embattled Medical Director, of the establishment.
One person was arrested close to the new hospital theatre and beaten to pulp before being driven away in a police patrol van.
A detachment of armed policemen from the Imo State Police Command “sent to keep the peace and who cordoned the premises “, fired several teargas cannisters at the non-violent workers, which sent them scampering for safety, outside the hospital premises.

Our correspondents,  who was at the FMC as the event played out, observed that relations of the patients on admission, were already making frantic efforts to move their loved ones to alternative hospitals for the continuation of their medicare.

It was also observed that the policemen apparently outing on the directive of a superintendent of police, impounded the workers public address system and other musical instruments and moved them to the Command Headquarters, Owerri.

Some of the workers, who spoke to Our Correspondents expressed shock that “already, the offices of the MD, Head of Administration and Head
of Accounts, have been broken into and varying documents removed”. The aggrieved workers also informed Independent that “Dr. Uwakwem was issued a reinstatement letter, against her arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC”.

According to the workers, “the matter is scheduled to be heard at Court 2 of Imo State High Court, Owerri, on November 15, 2016”. Continuing, the workers said that “the Interim Management Committee, IMC, set up by the Federal Ministry of Health and headed by Professor Ndu Eke, were not even aware of the gestapo style of reinstating Dr. Uwakwem”.

Independent recalls that all the workers and their unions rose against Uwakwem over her alleged financial malfeasance and anti-labour policies.

When contacted on his mobile phone, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, confirmed that he sent his men to FMC to enforce a directive from the Federal Ministry of Health. “If the workers are aggrieved, they should go to court. They do not have a right to stop their fellow worker from doing her job”, Lakanu said.

As at the time of going to press, policemen were still stationed in and around the hospital, while all the departments have been shutdown. Dr Uwakwem- a university of Nigeria trained surgeon could not pick her calls when our correspondent called  to obtain her reaction.

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