Aftermath Of Nma, Imo Govt.’s Meeting: Irona Inspects Dilapidated Imsuth Access Roads

Source: Dr. Walter Duru
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Following last Wednesday’s meeting between the Executive Governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and the leadership of the Imo State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, which resulted in the calling off of the Association’s two-month old strike, the Government has taken steps to address some of the issues raised by the Doctors during the meeting.

The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Rt. Hon. Gerald Irona, Thursday, inspected all the roads leading to Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, to ascertain the actual state of the roads, reported to be in very deplorable state.

Addressing hundreds of jubilant residents of the area who came to receive him during the inspection, the Deputy Governor lamented the awful state of the roads and assured stakeholders of the commitment of the State Government to urgently tackle the problem.

“During the election, we promised to bring the dividends of democracy to the door steps of the people. I can see that all the roads leading to the Teaching Hospital are impassable. We are aware that a lot of patients have died because they could not get to the Hospital early enough as a result of the poor state of the roads.”

“Doctors in Imo State were on strike for nearly two months. They had a meeting with the Governor, His Excellency Chief Emeka Ihedioha and one of the issues raised was the difficulty in accessing the Teaching Hospital.”

“We are here to see for ourselves, the state of things. Definitely, this road is bad. I am very convinced that His Excellency, the Governor shall send a team for remedial works to be done urgently, pending when the rains will subside, before proper procurement processes are followed for proper works to be done.”

The Deputy Governor poured encomiums on the previous administration of the Peoples Democratic Party-PDP, led by Chief Achike Udenwa for the vision of building the Teaching Hospital and the roads, promising that the Ihedioha administration will take necessary steps to restore the lost glory f the Hospital.

He berated the management of the Teaching Hospital for the poor sanitary condition of the place and its environs, warning that the present administration will not condone filthiness in whatever guise.

Reacting, the Chief Medical Director of the Teaching Hospital, Dr. Chukwuma Bonaventure Duru thanked the Ihedioha administration for taking steps to rescue the place, pledging the loyalty of the entire staff and management of the Hospital to the administration of Chief Emeka Ihedioha.

“We are very excited to have you here. This is the first time, since after the administration of Chief Achike Udenwa that a Governor or Deputy will show this level of interest in the Teaching Hospital. This shows that better days are ahead and we are very grateful.”

Speaking on why the Hospital environment is overtaken by grasses, the CMD blamed it on the Industrial action embarked upon by Doctors and some other Health Staff in the State, promising to take urgent steps to clean the environment.

Adding his voice, Traditional Ruler of Owere Ebeiri, His Majesty, Eze George Ben Uzoma expressed gratitude to the administration of Chief Emeka Ihedioha for her decision to fix the road, praying God to bless him.

“We are happy that the Governor has come here and we believe he will do this road. This road has been in very bad state for about eight years now. The benefits of fixing the road are enormous. This is the road that leads to the Teaching Hospital. There are two big markets here and people no longer patronize them because of the bad state of the roads. The Doctors will testify to this. Most of the time, they pass through my Palace to be able to access the Teaching Hospital.”

Among the roads inspected are: the Old Owerri Road (Nkume Umuowa) Orlu, all the entrance roads to the Teaching Hospital, Oguta-Mgbidi road ravaged by erosion, among others.

It would be recalled that the poor state of the access roads to the Teaching Hospital was among the nine items raised by Doctors in Imo State, for which they embarked on an industrial action.

The Deputy Governor’s visit to the area is in line with the Governor Emeka Ihedioha-led administration’s promise to attend to the issues raised by the Doctors, while urging them to call off the strike.

On the Deputy Governor’s team were: Hon. Mayor Eze, relevant Permanent Secretaries, personal aides, among others.

Walter Duru, Ph.D is Adviser, Communications to the Deputy Governor of Imo State