Kogi State Government has washed its hands clean of the disruption by unidentified gunmen, of a press conference being held at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Lokoja, the State Capital.
Commissioner of Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, in response to the incident which occurred early today, July 1, said in a statement that the incident began as a protest but turned violent afterwards.
“Preliminary findings revealed that the violence ensued when relations of patients in the medical facility protested against the failure of the management of the hospital to attend to them.
“Many people in the emergency ward were left unattended to and a mother delivered at the gate of the hospital. That generated a lot of public tension in the state.
“Tension started building since yesterday when patients and their relatives learnt of a plan by the medical staff to stage a protest today, seeking protection from COVID-19.
“We urge the people of the state to remain calm as government will ensure maintenance of law and order.
“We also sue for calm and urge medical authorities to remain committed to their medical profession and responsibilities as government will protect them in order to give them the confidence to deliver. Healthcare management must never be politicised.
“Also, government will carry out further investigations to ascertain the remote causes of the breach of peace by the protesters and also address their fears.”
Earlier in the day, unidentified gunmen disrupted a press conference being held in the State capital to address coronavirus issue in the state, coming on the heels of the consistent denial of the existence of coronavirus in the state by the state governor, Yahaya Bello. The governor, only yesterday, insisted that there was no coronavirus in the state and that the death of the State, Justice Nasir Ajanah had nothing to do with the virus complications.
The hospital operatives, according to information, had set to demand for the establishment of screening centre in the state and to also speak about the challenges health workers are facing with regard to the disease.
The armed men were said to vandalised the hospital equipment, including laptops and vital documents as well as destroyed hospital properties.