Raphael Ede, Enugu
The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in Enugu State and health workers at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu, have staged a protest rally at the state police headquarters demanding the arrest and prosecution of the killers of their colleague, Mrs Maria Amadi.
Late Mrs Amadi, Head of Nursing Services, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu and a mother of two, was allegedly shot dead on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at about 4 pm in front of her house at Federal Housing Estate, Enugu by suspected assassin’s that were said to have trailed her from her office.
Since her murder, there has been uneasy calm in the state especially at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital as workers were said to be afraid of going to work.
However, to register their grievances to the authorities, the members of the association with other health workers, stormed the streets of Enugu on Friday carrying placards with various inscriptions like “we demand the safety of lives in FNHE; “we need speedy investigation”; “we demand government to look into the crisis in FNHE” and “killers of Dr. Maria Amadi have murdered their sleep,” among others. They were demanding justice for the late Mrs Amadi.
The workers who chanted labour songs, matched to the police headquarters and the Government House, Enugu, calling on the state governor to do something before the state was turned into a war zone.
While addressing the workers at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital before embarking on the protest, the state Chairman of Nigerian Labour Congress, Mr. Viginus Nwobodo, called on the police to ensure that the killers of Mr. Amadi did not escape justice.
Nwobodo expressed optimism that the police were capable of fishing out those behind the killing of Mrs Amadi.
“The killers of Mrs. Amadi can only run now but cannot escape justice. I know our police can catch them if they want to do their job,” he said.
In a protest letter to the acting Inspector General of Police, which the protesting health workers handed to the state Commissioner of Police, signed by Mr Ezekiel Omeh and Mr Phyllis Uzokwe, state chairman and secretary of NANNM respectively, they called for an urgent investigation into the killing.
They said that nurses and other health workers in the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital and the entire nurses in the state were aggrieved and afraid to go about their lawful duties for fear of being the next target.
They described as an irony that they are lifesavers but they were being hunted and killed by murderers.
“Sir, you may recall that the hospital had been in crisis since 2015.
During one of the crises, the former unit chairman, Mr. Alozie Ejimadu was hit on the head with a hammer in the presence of the police and this incapacitated him till now.
“These attacks on our colleagues informed the need for this peaceful rally to demand justice for our highly- valued and resourceful director of nursing.
“We appealed to you to give a matching directive to the police in Enugu to intensify thorough investigation and diligent prosecution of the perpetrators of this heinous crime,” the letter read.
They protesters equally enjoined the police boss to ensure that security was provided for the nurses and workers in all health facilities in the state.