Open Letter to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu By Chukwuwa Chukwuwa

Dear Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu,

YOUR DEATH SENTENCE ON ABIANS IS UNFAIR

In the words of Chief Obafemi Awolowo “When wealth is lost everything is not lost. But when health is lost everything is lost.”

Your indifferent attitude to the health sector of the State has sent many Abians to their untimely grave. Under your watch sir, Abia’s healthcare system has totally collapsed. What baffles me the most is that you’re not even bothered.

Your Excellency sir, why are you not bothered that a state you’ve governed for 6 years has no standard tertiary health institution equipped with modern facilities? Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) Aba and the Abia Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center Umuahia, are mere glorified primary healthcare centers. Your major intervention in these hospitals since you became Governor is the appointment of Chief Medical Directors (CMD’s) and a Board for ABSUTH. You have abandoned these hospitals to run with decaying and outdated medical facilities.

Sir, I’m not surprised. How can a government that takes the welfare of health workers for granted equip the health institutions they work in?

According to impeccable sources that work in these hospitals, if they have received any medical equipment in the past five years, they were donated by private individuals, corporate organizations or the hospital management bought them.

ABSUTH has continued to borrow to augment the subventions they receive from the government in order to pay salaries each month the government subvention comes. The roads leading to the hospital totally collapsed, making it difficult for Abians to access the hospital for medical care. It took the intervention of a non-Abian, who did a documentary titled “The Abia of Blind Leadership,” which exposed the bad roads in Abia State to wake you up to your responsibility of fixing the road leading to the hospital.

A University Teaching Hospital that trains the Medics that will man and propel the development of the health sector should not be abandoned to ruins as you have.

Your Excellency sir, before your emergence as Governor in 2015, Abia Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center ran one of the best laboratories in the State in partnership with Mecure Healthcare Limited. Medical Lab tests and/or investigations like MRI, CT Scan, etc were done there. Patients trooped in from within and outside the state to attend to their health issues. Under your watch sir, that lab has totally collapsed and Mecure Healthcare Limited left the State.

Sir, before you became Governor, Abia Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center had a good Dialysis center. But under your watch, the hospital is now struggling with aging and decaying Dialysis Machines thereby impeding efficient healthcare delivery.

According to reliable sources, during the nationwide covid-19 lockdown, when you were down with renal failure and tested positive to covid-19, you had your first dialysis at Abia Specialist Hospital and Diagnostic Center, before your onward transmission to a medical facility in Abuja. But for God’s intervention through the medics there, maybe you would have returned to the dust. Yet you have continued to watch that health institution languish with decaying infrastructure.

Your Excellency sir, under your watch, the Abia State Health Insurance Agency that would have guaranteed thousands of Abians access to adequate and affordable Healthcare had remained comatose because you deliberately refused to pay the counterpart fund of One Hundred and Fifty Million (150,000,000), even when the Federal Government and international donors have made available their own counterpart fund far bigger than what the State is expected to bring.

Sir, according to a reliable source from the Agency, for years, the management of the agency had been begging for funds to do the basic things that will enhance the effective running of the agency, all to no avail. At a point, they reduced their begging to just 2 million, you finally approved the release of 20 million but the Accountant General of the State allegedly released 15 million and withheld 5 million. Sir, who owns the 5 million that was allegedly withheld from the approved 20 million?

Your Excellency Sir, the story of the Health Management Board (HMB) and the fraud being committed there, by the top echelons, in connivance with some government officials, requires an open letter of its own.

Sir, according to a reliable source from the State House of Assembly, the funds you approved for some health institutions which amounted to tens of millions to help fight Covid-19 did not get to them. The Chief Executives of the health Institutions got to know about the funds when they were invited by the House of Assembly to explain how they spent the funds. Yet, the funds were claimed on their behalf without their knowledge. Sir who claimed the funds on their behalf?

Sir, the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Aba is nothing but a White Sepulcher used in deceiving the unsuspecting masses. Our source who went there to ascertain the state of things was denied access by the people at the gate. When she questioned why she was being denied access, the gatemen responded “The order is from above”. If the government is not hiding something why is the place not open for public use? Why is the place quieter than a graveyard? Sir, last year you went there to commission a project. What project was that?

Your Excellency sir, you can agree with me that your very good friend from Imo State – Dr. Joe Osuji lacks the capacity to midwife the much-needed change and revival of our comatose health sector. If you mean well for the health sector of the State, you would not have allowed your personal relationship to override your sense of judgment in the appointment of a competent health commissioner.

In conclusion sir, every life is important to the life-giver – God. Whoever takes other people’s lives for granted will have God to contend with. The blood of thousands of Abians that you have sent to their early graves, because of your indifferent attitude to our health sector, will continue to cry for justice against you before God. The tears and grieves of their loved ones will definitely awake God’s response against you and whoever has advised and encouraged you to misappropriate funds meant to give Abians quality Healthcare. God will never allow peace to those who enjoy the proceeds of wealth accrued from the graves of Abians, whose lives were cut short because of our failing healthcare system. In the history of oppression, God is always on the side of the oppressed and the case of Abians will not be different.

Your Excellency sir, you still have two years remaining to withdraw your death sentence on Abians and stop dancing on the graves of those already dead by arresting the rot and decay in our health sector. Please sir, get up from the magnificent comforts and confines of your office and start paying unscheduled visits to the health institutions in the State for firsthand information, assessment, and right response. It’s up to you sir.

Chukwuwa Chukwuwa

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