Nigerian Hospitals Now Mortuaries, Says Falana
A human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, yesterday called on Nigerians to demand improved health care from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Falana has also commended the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Umar Zulum, for rewarding the hard work and dedication to duty of Mrs. Obiageli Mazi with cash benefit and promotion from class teacher to assistant headmistress without bordering about her state of origin or religion.
Falana said it was unfair that Buhari “always travels abroad for medical care while the generality of Nigerians have no other choice but to go to Nigerian hospitals that have become mortuaries.”
The lawyer recalled that back in 1984 when Buhari was a military dictator, a human rights activist, the late Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, was detained for six months for agitating for improved health care in the country.
Thisday reports that he spoke at the 14th Annual Beko Ransome-Kuti Memorial Lecture organised by the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights.
The lecture, titled, “Activist’s participation in politics; a myth or a reality?” was delivered by Prof. Lai Olurode with Mrs Yemisi Ransome-Kuti in attendance.
Falana said, “When this same President, as a military Head of State, came in 1984, December 31, and said our hospitals had been reduced to consulting clinics; it was a confirmation of the struggle of the Nigerian doctors. So, Beko and others thought he meant well and after six months, there was no improvement, they went on strike that paralysed the medical sector.
“Of course, Beko was grabbed, though he was the first Vice-President of the NMA, the regime knew he was the moving force in the NMA. And so, he was detained together with the NMA President then, Dr. Akpabio. He was kept in Kirikiri for six months. When the regime became tired, they were released.
In a separate statement issued yesterday Falana, has commended the Governor Zulum, for rewarding the hard work and dedication to duty of Mrs. Obiageli Mazi with cash benefit and promotion from class teacher to assistant headmistress without bordering about her state of origin or religion.
Mazi, who is a class teacher at Shehu Sanda Kyarimi 2 Primary School in Jere Local Government Education Authority of Borno State, was met at her duty place waiting for her pupils to arrive as early as 6.30 a.m. by Zulum who paid an unscheduled visit to the school last Friday as part of his routine assessment of the state of the public institutions in Borno.
Zulum, who was overwhelmed by Mazi’s dedication, commended and rewarded her with personal cash of N100,000, which is nearly three times her monthly salary of N35,000, and recommended her for promotion that was effected within 24 hours later.
Mazi hails from Abia State and has been teaching in Borno State for 31 years.
Falana, who commented on the rewards that were showered on Mazi, stated that the state governor deserved commendation for rewarding the teacher “notwithstanding her religion and her state of origin.”
He described Zulum’s show of appreciation as a true actualisation of Section 15 (1) of Nigeria’s Constitution, which provided that “national integration shall be encouraged whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited.”
He added that: “The Zulum example is an indictment of those who are currently busy counting the thousands of Nigerian citizens that have been brutally killed and abducted by the satanic Boko Haram insurgents along religious divide! “
The example of Governor Zulum is a challenge to the labour movement and other progressive forces to intensify the campaign against reactionary politicians and the backward members of the elite that are taking advantage of insecurity and official incompetence to divide the economically marginalised people of Nigeria along ethnic and religious lines.”
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