A Rights Group, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), with headquarters in Lokoja, Kogi State has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the attack on Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja.
According to the group, the panel should be headed by a Federal High Court status.
On Wednesday morning, gunmen had attacked the Federal Medical Centre, carting away computers and other sensitive materials from the administrative department of the health institution, after operating for about thirty minutes.
Kogi State government had claimed the attack was by relatives of patients allegedly abandoned by the hospital staff.
It is however common knowledge, the friction between the management of the FMC Lokoja and the Kogi State government over perceived differences on the government’s stance on the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, the Rights Group believes whatever be the reason, under a responsible government such should not happen, wondering what could have led to such act of hooliganism in a civilized world.
The Executive Director of the group, Idris Miliki in a statement made available to newsmen in Lokoja, Kogi State Capital, said the incident is unfortunate, worrisome and condemnable in all ramifications.
“Hospitals and all health institutions established by individual or government are to serve humanity and for the good of society. The invasion and violent attack, destruction of government properties and stealing of individual belongings that was perpetrated by armed hoodlums at FMC Lokoja for unjust reasons, is, to say the least, quite unfortunate,” he said.
Miliki alleged that the current state government in Kogi State under Governor Yahaya Bello that has existed for more than four years, cannot boost of verifiable investment in the health sector.
He said even the facility used as Isolation Centre in the state, was built by the immediate past administration before the emergence of Bello.
“Four years down the line, the Bello administration, despite having received no less than 300 billion in statutory allocations, to both state and local government, the bailout funds, Paris Club funds, Infrastructural refund money and internally generated revenue, the health sector in Kogi state is in a sorry condition as nothing magnificent has been added by this current administration.
“It is more dangerous, that Kogi State government officially announced in the wake of this madness attack, that whoever is rejected by the FMC, Lokoja, should be referred to the Specialist Hospital in Lokoja, also built by the previous administration, which the present government have failed to equipped. Then on what medical strength can the Specialist Hospital in Kogi State take over the services of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja?” the statement queried.
The group called for a thorough judicial probe into the incident to fish out and punish the perpetrators, individuals or institutions.
“We call on the Federal Government, particularly, the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, elected by the people of Nigeria, Kogi people inclusive, in the interest of justice and rule of Law, to investigate this matter.
“We call on the Nigeria Police, particularly the Inspector General of Police, not to let the people of Kogi State and Nigeria down at this crucial hour of need.
“We challenge the Kogi State Government, particularly the Governor, or his commissioner of Information to a live public debate in both radio and television on their activities and achievement on COVID-19 in Kogi State,” the group said.