The Kogi State government has reacted to Wednesday’s attack on the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Lokoja, saying it resulted from “scuffle between the staff of the health facility and some of the aggrieved relatives of patients.”
The government, in a statement by Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, however described the breach on the medical facility as unfortunate.
The statement was titled: “The FMC scuffle: Setting the record straight.”\
It reads: “The attention of the Kogi State government has been drawn to the unfortunate scuffle between the staff of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, and some patients’ relatives at the hospital, this morning.
“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 to 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 (Tuesday) when patients and their relatives learnt of a plan by the medical staff to stage a protest today (Wednesday), seeking protection from Covid-19.”
The government called on residents to remain calm, assuring that it will ensure in the 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.
“Healthcare management must never be politicized. Also, government will carry out further investigations to ascertain the remote causes of the breach of peace by the protesters and also address their fears.
“The Kogi State government will also make the state-owned Specialist Hospital available to patients in critical condition, and who are denied medical attention by the authorities of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja,” it added.
Earlier reports had it that suspected sponsored thugs at about 8am attacked the federal hospital, carting away computers and other sensitive materials from the administrative department.
The unnumbered hoodlums carted away laptops and phones of both staffers and patients.
The were alleged to have also made away with some vital documents.
They operated freely for over thirty minutes and left the scene with victims crying for help.
There has been no love lost between the management of the FMC Lokoja and the Kogi State government over perceived differences on the latter’s stance on the Covid-19 pandemic.
While Governor Yahaya Bello has continued to mainrain the coronavirus is a hoax, personnel at the medical centre appear not to be on the same page with him.
More drama was to follow later in the day as some placard- carrying protesters marched in front of the hospital (FMC), insisting Kogi remains free of COVID-19.