I visited the Federal Medical Center Owerri last week to learn the current state of affairs as the internal crisis continues to linger for close to 8 weeks. The atmosphere was very tense as security men were seen stationed at the entrance and others patrolling inside the hospital premises. No single patient was seen in the hospital as every office and ward was locked.
Starting from the general outpatient department (GOPD) located across the road, very part of the hospital gives the feeling of a ghost town. The only busy area in the hospital was the central area close to the emergency ward leading to the administrative building. Most staff of the hospital were seen here conducting their daily prayers and wearing black outfits.
I spoke with Comr. Nwafuru Solomon who is the Chief Scribe to FMC Owerri house unions. According to him, the tense atmosphere was as a result of a text message that circulated during the weekend saying that the Chief Medical Director has been mandated to use any means to force staff to work. According to him, they are confident they will win the battle as the Nigerian labour congress, trade union congress and JOHESU are solidly behind them.
Below is an excerpt from the interview and other pictures from the hospital.