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Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Workers Unions Pass Vote Of Confidence On Management

*Insist Erring Staffers Must Be Sanctioned

By Ignatius Okpara, Enugu – Against the backdrop of the lingering crisis in the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu, members of the affiliate Joint Health Sector Union, (JOHESU) of the Hospital, have defended the Hospital’s management, threatening they will resist any attempt by anybody to drag the institution to the mud.

The workers’ union, made up of the Graduate Nurses Association, Association of Psychiatric Nurses of Nigeria (APNON), and General Welfare Association have also dissociated themselves from the activities of some of their members who are going about making publications to blackmail the management of the hospital.

However, the three unions that make up JOHESU of the hospital said they have passed a vote of confidence on their Medical Director, Dr. Jojo Onwukwe, while the entire members of staff of the hospital were satisfied with his leadership style.

The unions, made their position known in a joint statement signed by the Graduate Nurses Association Chairman, Mrs. Grace Anoliefo, an Assistant Director of Nursing; its Secretary, Vitus Nwagwu; theAPNON Chairman, Comrade Chibuzo Maduka and Secretary, Comrade Emeka Iroegbu; and the General Welfare Chairman, Comrade Alphonsus Mba, as well as the immediate past President of JOHESU, Comrade Chidiebere Eze.

According to a statement made available to AFRICAN EXAMINER Tuesday in Enugu, the Unions said “The management of the hospital ably led by Dr. Jojo Onwukwe has always paid” their salaries as at when due.

“We make bold to say that any pending arrears are the same in all the hospitals in Nigeria and is in line with the current economic situation of the country”.

“We, therefore, distance ourselves from an earlier publication and announcement by purported JOHESU members namely Alozie Ejimmadu, Eric Ugwu, Tony Ozurumba, Ejike Ihezue, Matthew Eze and Friday Oduburu, blackmailing the management of the Hospital” the unions clarified.

The unions said that they have not mandated any group or persons to probe into the day to day activities of the hospital other than the welfare of the workers, saying that those workers going about making unsubstantiated allegations had exceeded their mandate and were being manipulated to malign and destroy the good image of the management of the hospital and its Medical Director for their selfish reasons.

“We want to make it unequivocally clear that they do not have the mandate of the workers; that no congress has ever met in the past five months. Therefore, it is impossible for them to have the mandate of the workers.

“That they only meet with Dr. Justine Achor, the former Head of Clinical Services, Mrs. Osunwa, Alex Ndukuba, Mr. E.C. Oduburu, Friday Oduburu, Cecilia Oduburu, who are the engineers and sponsors of this problem to come out with inflammatory and defamatory statements about the hospital and its Medical Director with the sole aim of throwing the hospital into confusion,” the unions alleged.

They also passed a vote of no confidence on Alozie Ejimmadu, and his cohorts and called for their immediate impeachment.

The union also called on the national leadership of JOHESU to intervene and call their erring members to order to avoid further confusion in the hospital, even as they accused their dissident members of writing countless petitions to Abuja that were false, adding that they had in the past locked the hospital gate to bar workers from coming to work.

“They have also gone to Federal High Court Enugu and Industrial Court, Awka where the court asked them to maintain the status quo. Despite this, they have continued to blackmail the hospital management in the press, which is tantamount to violation of court order.

“We want to categorically state that our hospital is at peace and calm and we are in good terms with our Medical Director, Dr. Jojo Onwukwe.

“Those causing this problem are individuals that have bad records and have been interdicted by the management and they choose to hide under the cloak of our union to cause problem. Typical examples are Mr. Alozie Ejimadu who was suspended for some unethical posting he sent to his Facebook on high lethal dose he gave to a patient. The Nursing/Midwifery Council had started to investigate him while the whole world is reacting to the Facebook post to get a clear picture of the magnitude of this gross misconduct and violation of patient’s rights.

“Mr. Ejike Ihezue without authority used hospital letterheads to authorize issuance of bank loans to Mrs. Perpetua Udegbunam from three different banks namely, Diamond Bank, Ecobank and First Bank Plc. Mr. Ejike Ihezue is neither the Hospital Accountant, the Head of Administration nor the Medical Director and was not directed to issue such letters of authority on behalf of the hospital. The banks have written the hospital demanding that they be paid when the beneficiary of the loan, Mrs. Perpetua Udegbunam refused to pay.

“This is a gross misconduct and financial embarrassment to the hospital.

“Furthermore, Mr. Ejike Ihezue issued a loan of N3 million to a terminally ill staff when the staff did not apply for the loan.

“This was a conspiracy with intent to defraud the hospital which he actually succeeded.

“The staff died three weeks after the grant of unsolicited and unauthorized loan. Neither Mr. Ejike nor the staff’s relations have repaid the loan till date.

“Mrs. Cecilia Oduburu was removed as Principal of the School because of unlawful activities that bordered on embezzlement, misappropriation of funds, insubordination and violation of civil service rule.

“Mr. Anthony Ozurumba, an auditor was suspended because while doing his National Service was still receiving full salary for the service period in the hospital without a break and getting paid also by the hospital.

“Mr. Friday Oduburu was relegated from level 6 to level 3 because he had only 2 credits, Igbo and Religions at 2 sittings of the exam at the point of entrance. Mr. Mathew Eze was also relegated from level 6 to level 3 because he brought a fake document bearing Matthew Nwaeze instead of Matthew Eze at the point of conversion,” the union leaders alleged.

The unions disclosed that most of the above alleged misconducts were committed prior to most of the staff assuming positions as labour leaders, adding that disciplinary processes had equally begun with issuance of queries, among others before now.

“As public servants, they are guided by the Public Service Rules irrespective of their positions as labour leaders in the hospital,” they said.

They also disclosed that the management of the hospital had addressed all the issues that bother on the welfare of the workers, but the dissidents, they said, insisted that the suspension order be lifted while the management maintained that the matter has been referred to Disciplinary Committee of the Board of Management of the Hospital.


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