Dr Matthias Oyigeya, the chief medical director of Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, Benue State, is certainly a true performer but he is fighting the battle of his life as some mischief makers are capitalising on his unassuming posture and self effacing style to ruin his hard earned reputation.
It has been argued in many quarters before now that there is nothing that can ever force the centre to work for the health needs of the people of Benue State irrespective of financial commitment by government or administrative will by management, because a certain group of people have installed themselves as emperors to frustrate anybody that comes in to head the institution as Chief Executive Officer not minding his or her state of origin. For a long period of time, these evil men who superimposed themselves as ‘a cabal’ have continued to pose as threats to current challenges in the health sector and government reforms that are designed to position the institution for effective service delivery to the people of Nigeria.
Ninety days, our people say, are for the thief but one day for the owner (poor masses) and that day was 1st July, 2008 when the late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua appointed Dr Matthias Oyigeya as the chief medical director of the centre. Many stakeholders saw his appointment as a demonstration of President Yar’Adua’s desire to see to the secondary health needs of the people of Benue State and neighbouring towns in view of the people’s population and Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, being the only tertiary health centre situated around the vicinity.
The challenges before the consultant psychiatrist were enormous that a chicken hearted fellow seeing the near collapse of infrastructure, un-improved workforce, inadequate medical equipments coupled with heated industrial unrest within the centre will pack his belongings and disappear into thin air. Dr Matthias Oyigeya also had the option of sustaining the status quo which was, ‘you share the money we give you peace, chop alone and we give you trouble or dare the devils and write his name in gold. He decided in his wisdom as a doctor who feels the pains of his patients to adopt the latter strategy and make the desired changes that are necessary to sustain the good medical attention for our people.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP INTERVAL on the state of things in the hospital, Mr Agbese Philip, President General, Nigerian Unemployed Youth Forum, said,‘‘ In the power sector we have a group that believes that any improvement in the generation of power will transmit to a total shut down of their generator exporting business and thereafter having a negative effect on their bank accounts. These people see nothing wrong in travelling to Asian countries to import sub-standard generators when we have gas from crude oil and enough water to generate power everywhere in the country. Here we have the popular power sector cabal.’’
Philip said,‘‘The cabal wants to crucify Oyigeya for daring them and restoring the hopes of many families who have visited the new Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, under his stewardship. These evil men have made it a point that money allocated for rehabilitation of structures and expansion purposes must be shared into their private pockets. The cabal has been infuriated with the fact that death rate has largely reduced since Oyigega has provided affordable drugs and equipments to carter for the sick. As if it was not enough for the medical director, he ignored their counsel that only their brothers should be employed to do cleaning services around the hospital when our widows are begging for food to eat. He went further to complete all on-going projects at the Apir permanent site of the centre and thereafter transferred most major units of the hospital to a befitting structure that suits the name and the functions.’’
Lamenting further, Philip argued that, ‘‘My perusal of the document which they call a petition before a member of the House of Representatives is that Oyigeya’s skyrocketing achievements in office are enough reasons to fetch him re-appointment for 2nd term.’’
According to him, Dr Oyigeya has defiled their temple that was built by sharing taxpayers’ money and for this reason their god is also asking for his head or nothing less. These evil men are more desperate than cabals except for the fact they are ideologically bereaved and have no torch with present day realities. The FMC Cabal as they have been code-named by staff and patients that visit regularly are ready to do anything to teach Oyigeya a lesson of his lifetime but the people are watching and will rise up in his defence.
‘‘We respect their constitutional right to achieve greatness by any means but not to the detriment of patients that are undergoing life threatening pains already. They could do it to us in other areas but let them leave our hospitals alone. His blood will be too bitter for them to leak because every home is singing to God to spare his life for bringing standard and affordable health care services to the reach of the common man,’’ he concluded.