Appointment of UBTH CMD, and matters arising.

By Edo Benin

University of Benin Teaching Hospital Chief Medical Director's appointment – we call on President Goodluck Jonathan GCFR to insist on due process and fair play, Benin National Congress. 4th May 2013.

Rising from an emergency meeting in Benin City, on the on-going process of re-appointment of a substantive Chief Medical Director to manage the affairs of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital for another four year term; against the backdrop of allegations of intimidation of eminently qualified medical practitioners of Benin extraction people by the incumbent Chief Medical Director , in a view to frustrate their enthusiasm in contesting for the post that will be vacant in few weeks from now; it has become incumbent on us as a-host community organization of the institution to appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan GCFR and the Honorable Minister to decree a free, fair and credible process that will produce a meaningful leadership for the federal establishment. In addition, to calling the current helmsman of the establishment to order; and to investigate the alleged intimidation of his aspiring subordinates. Or have they committed any sin for expressing interests to contest for the same post with him?

From experience, federal appointments of this nature are shrouded with high-wired politics, rather than merit and fairness, thereby lowering excellence and capability to deliver prudently on the goals and visions of the establishment. We have it on good authority that the various union leaders in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital are being blackmailed to officially endorse the incumbent administration on the pages of newspapers, (under the guise of felicitations) a situation that we consider antithetical to decorum, peace and tranquility before, during and after the recruitment exercise. As a socio-cultural organization of Edo people, we DO NOT to project any candidate for any public office of this nature, but, we will resist any attempt to impose a dishonest candidate or a stooge by centrifugal force who believes that federal establishments are their inheritance, and that they must produce or impose their helmsmen.

As a group that believes in constructive engagement with institutions and agencies, we know of a fact that merit was sacrificed on the altar of political expediency in the last recruitment exercise about four years ago, hence the avalanche of misgivings by the medical and non-medical staffs of the establishment as well as stakeholders of the host community. It is to avoid a scenario of mutual suspicion between management; staff and community stakeholders that we make bold to say that Mr. President should appreciate the peace in our communities by prevailing on the Ministry of Health to insist on fair play else they may plunge the establishment into chaos.

As a matter of fact, we wish to reiterate that we will do everything possible, including legal actions in the court of law, and organized street protests to ensure that the appointment process is free and fair, and devoid of intrigues from centrifugal forces that are based in Abuja, whose stock-in-trade is unbridled imposition and appropriation of public establishments as though it is their inheritance.

It is shameful that recruitment process that ought to be sacrosanct in Civil Service, in terms of regards for merit and standards is still characterized in mess and disdain, more than fifty years after Nigeria's Independence. President Jonathan's administration should consolidate on some gains achieved in this regard, like the ongoing reforms in public service, to revitalize our public institutions, by strict adherence to rules and fair play. We will be glad to see that standards are followed, and incumbency intimidation checked in the countdown to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital Chief Medical Director's appointment.

Mr. David Ekomwenrenren- Director of Publicity and Intelligence,

Benin National Congress.