Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has suspended all staff, amongst them resident medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and lab technicians at the General Hospital in Ngala town, for abandoning patients to an International NGO, fhi360.
The New Agency of Nigeria reports that Ngala town, liberated from insurgents in 2015, is the Headquarters of Ngala Local Government Area, with an international land route into Cameroon, Chad, Sudan and Central Africa.
Zulum’s spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusau, in a statement said the development followed a surprise visit to the hospital by the governor, where he met only the NGO staff attaining to many patients, mostly Internally Displaced Persons, that besieged the hospital.
Gusau said those affected by the suspension included doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory technicians.
He said: “The governor was disappointed to find out that inspite of the high turn-out of patients, not one of the many government paid staff, from doctors down to clerical staff, was at the hospital as at 11am.”
He explained that the governor was received at the hospital by the Field Coordinator of the fhi360.
The statement quoted the Governor as saying: “This is a General Hospital belonging to Borno State Government, unfortunately there is no single state government staff here to attend to all these patients, and we promptly pay all of them salaries.
“These humanitarian workers from the iNGO (fhi360) are supposed to complement the state government staff but not to completely take over the hospital.
“I am directing the Borno State Hospitals Management Board, if there is any staff on the payroll of this Hospital, to immediately suspend all the workers on government payroll.
“I will be back to this hospital, hoping to see the opposite of what I saw today.”
While in Ngala, Zulum also visited three schools and ordered the rehabilitation of classrooms destroyed by insurgents.
He also announced plans to resettle displaced persons in neighbouring communities of Logumani and Gajibo.