* Monarch, residents cry out
By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu
OTUO—THE people of Otuo in Owan East Local Government Area, Edo State, have lamented that 14 months after the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, assured them of the inauguration of the multi-million naira Women and Children Hospital, Otuo, which had been completed and furnished, the sickbay is redundant.
Governor Godwin Obaseki on a statewide thank you tour, November 2017, had promised the people that the hospital would be commissioned before the end of 2017, but 14 months after, he has not made good his promise.
Abandoned, completed by Oshiomhole
Finding by NDV shows that the hospital abandoned by previous administration was eventually completed under the World Bank-assisted Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, during the administration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Construction work has been completed with all required equipment and medical facilities to make the hospital functional already in place; the administrative building, doctors and nurses’ offices and others, have also been furnished.
I assisted state govt to complete project —Hon Iriase
It has also been fully equipped with support from the Deputy Majority Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon. Pally Iriase.
He recently told journalists: “I also used my zonal intervention to assist the state government by ensuring that a large chunk of the equipment needed in that hospital were supplied through those funds. I love to involve myself in capital- intensive projects that will impact maximally on the lives of the people.”
But most worrisome is that facilities and other hospital equipment purchased for the hospital lie idle and uninstalled. Electricity supply does not seem to be a problem, as the General Hospital, Otuo complex, was designed to run on solar energy.
Parts of the vast compound were overgrown by weeds when NDV visited the hospital few days ago, but could not access the compound as the gate was under lock and key.
Obaseki, come to ouraid—Monarch, subjects
The traditional ruler of Otuo community, HRH Julius Ojeabuo, appealed to Governor Obaseki to open the hospital for public use.
“If the hospital is working, it will help a lot of people, Otuo people and its environs, instead of running from here to Igarra and to Afuze for medical treatment, it will take care of our needs here, so we are appealing to the state government to please come to our aid,” he asserted.
A resident of the community, Kehinde Gabriel, told NDV that “what remains there is to open the hospital, employ our people who are doctors so that the place can function.”
The Secretary of Otuo Union, Comrade Joshua Iraoya said: “We wrote a letter of thank you to the governor as promised, we got acknowledgment from Government House that he got our letter, but as we speak, nothing has been done.”
Another resident, Beauty Adeoye said: “If there is any emergency in Otuo now, we have to run to Auchi or Igarra and before Igarra or Auchi, something else would have happened.”
Govt putting logistics in place to inaugurate hospital—Osifo
Contacted, Commissioner for Health, Dr David Osifo, said the Obaseki administration was putting the needed logistics in place to open the hospital for public use.
NDV gathered that one of the reasons for the delay is the provision of adequate manpower to man the hospital as the governor does not want to open the place without the needed manpower to administer the facility.