Scores of protesters, yesterday, stormed the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja protesting the claim that there is COVID-19 in Kogi State.
The protesters, it was learnt, first stormed the administrative department of the hospital where they destroyed some property and carted away some office equipment
An eye witness who is a worker in the hospital, said the protesters came with dangerous weapons, including stones and pebbles and went straight to the office of the Chief Medical director, Dr. Tunde Alabi, broke into his office and later returned to chase other workers away.
The source who preferred to speak on the condition of anonymity alleged that the protesters were angsts following claims by the hospital that it treated some COVID-19 patients before transferring them to the National Centre for Diseases Control in Abuja. Governor Yayaya Bello has maintained the stance that the state was free of COVID-19 describing it as a hoax and a disease propagated by force for Nigerians to accept.
The protesters yesterday claimed the FMC was giving the state a bad name as they re-echoed the governor’s stance on the non-existence of Coronavirus cases in the state.
The NCDC recently recorded no fewer than five COVID-19 cases against the state and even the death on Sunday of state’s Chief Judge was associated with the virus.
Police public relations officer, Willy Aya, who confirmed the protest, however, said the police had dispersed the protesters.
Commissioner of Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, in a statement, however, linked the protest to relatives of patients who felt disenchanted with the way their wards were treated at the hospital.
“Preliminary findings revealed that the violence ensued when relations of patients in the medical facility protested against the failure of the management of the hospital to attend to them. Many people in the emergency ward were left unattended and a mother delivered at the gate of the hospital. That generated a lot of public tension in the state. Tension started building since yesterday when patients and their relatives learnt of a plan by the medical staff to stage a protest today, seeking protection from COVID-19. We urge the people of the state to remain calm as government will ensure maintenance of law and order.
“We also sue for calm and urge medical authorities to remain committed to their medical profession and responsibilities as government will protect them in order to give them the confidence to deliver.