The three major unions that comprise over 95 per cent of the workforce at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, Imo State have embarked on indefinite strike action until the federal government decides to listen to them by sacking Dr. Angela Uwakwem , Medical Director of the institution.
They accused him of poor financial management, high-handedness and abuse of office through non application of due process in the system.
Addressing the media during a protest march carried out on Friday, May 22, at the institution’s premises which caused major traffic snarl along Orlu road; Chairman of Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), Comrade Clifford Ezeugwu alongside the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) and Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) accused the medical director of involvement in many financial scandals leading to poor staff welfare and treatment.
They maintained that staff promoted in 2013 and 2014 were being owed but instead of using the excess funds for those years to offset the personnel cost, she resorted to divert same to capital expenditure as opposed to due process.
“She inflated the figures (cost) of purchase of CT Scan machine, pays herself overtime to the tune of several hundreds of thousands of Naira monthly since her inception as medical director, which is against public service rules for someone on her salary grade level 17 (Top Sal), and she is also involved in employment racketeering to that extent of back-dating appointment/employment letter in order to cover up”, they alleged.
The protesting staff numbering over 1000 in their all black attire however urged the federal government to immediately set up an investigation panel to probe their allegation while the medical director steps aside as the investigation goes on, adding that if nothing was done they would remain on strike.