The battle line appears to have been drawn between a former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his successor, Governor Godwin Obaseki whose strict adherence to institutional reforms have earned him the nickname, ‘wake and see’. Nothing withstanding the fact that the Chief Medical Director of UBTH, Prof. Darlington Obaseki who is a
The battle line appears to have been drawn between a former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his successor, Governor Godwin Obaseki whose strict adherence to institutional reforms have earned him the nickname, ‘wake and see’.
Nothing withstanding the fact that the Chief Medical Director of UBTH, Prof. Darlington Obaseki who is a Nephew of the Governor, yet, he did not put in an appearance.
The Governor’s seat which was to Oshiomhole’s right, was noticeably vacant throughout the duration of the Ceremony.
Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), used the occasion of the 46th Founder’s Day Celebrations and launching of endowment fund of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) held on Thursday in Benin City, to cast the first stone.
The cold war grew worse ahead of the contestation for 2020 re-elections in Edo State
when he blamed his successor for the comatose state-of-the so called 5 star Accident and Emergency ward of the reconstructed and upgraded Central hospital in Benin City which was Commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 7, 2016, amid funfair.
While passing the buck of non-opening of the hospital on to his successor, Oshiomhole, said the multi-billiion naira edifice housing the 120-bed hospital was fully equipped with medical equipment.
The former governor had said that his government had procured equipment worth N2.5 billion for the hospital which he said would be managed under public private partnership.
He said he embarked on the project to tackle old wrongs, rebuild trust and strengthen the healthcare system which was in state of decay.
According to him, the feat was part of his modest contribution to mankind when he was in public office.
He expressed hope that the 5 star hospital will be accessible to the public ‘one day’, acquitting himself of any wrong doing.
“The task is for us to be fired by the deficit we see and take steps that need to be taken to amend those deficits. That was why I decided to build what I call a 5 star hospital to replace the decayed Benin Central hospital.
“I do hope that one day, that hospital will be opened and you will see the equipment there.
“The hospital is my own modest contribution to show what we need to do”, he said.
It is instructive to note that Oshiomhole’s confidence and the strength of his declaration bears enormous responsibility of his policies and programme.
He (Oshiomhole), brought the State from the edge of calamity to a shiny example.
His comment however, revved the engines of rage and heckle among guests present.
Our Correspondent reports that the inability of the public to access the facility which has been under lock, has generated wrinkles on the gentle face of history.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Adjoto Kabiru, had raised a 3-man Committee headed by Mr. Damian Lawani to among others, investigate, make recommendations and report why the public cannot access hospital.
Adjoto made the declaration shortly after he lost his bid to secure APC ticket for Akoko-Edo federal Constituency in Edo State to the incumbent and House of Representatives member-elect, Hon. Peter Akpatason in the 2019 primaries which the party resolved in favour of the later.
The house resolution was in response to protests by members of Edo Civil society organizations (EDOCSO’s) and Talakawa Paliament as well as youths and women groups against the non-opening of the hospital.
He expressed hope that the 5 star Central hospital Complex in Benin City, Edo State Capital will be put to use.
But, a Benin-based Parliament otherwise known as “Talakawa Parliament” led by Comrade Kola Edokpayi, had passed a no confident vote on Edo State House of Assembly, citing failure to make the report on the hospital public as reason.
The group took the resolution at the Human Rights House on Saturday, April 13, 2019 in Benin City, five months after the Committee headed by a member of the house, Mr. Damian Lawani began its assignment.
Edokpayi, had on April 17, 2019 protested against the non-opening of the hospital which was established in 1906 but upgraded by Oshiomhole.
The group had earlier met and passed a no confidence vote on the Edo State House of Assembly for not making the report of the Committee on Central Hospital public after five months.
“We should also adopt other positive means to ensure that Edo State Government opens the Central hospital”, the statement said.
But, a member of the Assembly, described the call for protest by the group as an idea in search of an adequate mode of expression”.
The lawmaker who craved for anonymity, said “you are aware that there are a lot of issues about that hospital. But, “Things have started happening there (hospital).
“Obaseki is a silent worker, his approach to any problem is different from our own politicians.”
He said he will not want to give details of the Committee’s report and declined further comment on the issues that were raised by the group.
But, he did not disclose how the budgetary N1 billion yearly appropriated by the State house of Assembly in the past two years to uplift the hospital was spent.
The noticeable absence of Obaseki at the Ceremony which witnessed the presence of former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rted), the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, Oba of Benin palace functionaries and a host of dignitaries, no doubt appears to have led credence to the rumour presently making the round of a split between the godfather and the godson.
For the hapless Edo patients, who have been denied of access to quality health, they will still have to tarry a while, pending the comencent of actual work at the hospital which is fast turning into the project, over two and half years after the health facility was commissioned at the twilight of Oshiomhole’s administration.