Cross River Governor, Otu orders revamping of abandoned Hospital, facilities devastated by end SARS
By Akpan David, Calabar
Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has directed that state critical infrastructure devastated by the 2020 end SARS protest be renovated and put to use soon.
He gave the directive at a news parley at the temporary governor’s office which is next to the state House of Assembly in Calabar.
He listed that hospitals and the state newspaper corporation building which housed one of the oldest Libraries in Nigeria should be in the first phase of renovation.
Implementing the directive, state commissioner for health, Dr Henry Egbe Ayuk said St. Joseph Hospital, Ikot Ene, in Akpabuyo LGA would be renovated immediately to enable medicinspections to resume.
Inspecting the devastated hospital yesterday, Ayuk lamented the enormous degree of the 2020 EndSars vandalisation to the facility, which left it bereft of medical services, and made access to healthcare an elusive luxury to the people of Akpabuyo and their Bakassi neighbours.
Dr. Ayuk promised to redeploy a medical doctor to the facility and also directed the hospital management to make a requisition of what is expected to return basic health care services to St. Joseph Hospital.
“The government of Sen. Bassey Otu is desirous of seeing services returned to the facility which serves both Akpabuyo and Bakassi LGAs. The hospital needs renovation. We will commence phased implementation, beginning with minor upgrading to commence service delivery at the historical hospital,” the Commissioner stated.
He commended the facility’s staff for their enthusiasm and readiness to work in spite of the unfriendly working environment.
Dr. Ayuk charged community leaders to take ownership of the health facility by providing an internal security architecture that would ensure the safety of both the hospital and its staff, noting that the community must participate effectively in the security of services to be returned to the hospital.
Speaking on behalf of the Eneyo Traditional Rulers Council, Chief Francis Ene thanked the State Government for looking to return services to an important area of need such as St. Joseph Hospital.
He highlighted the importance of the hospital to the people of Akpabuyo and Bakassi, Ene appealed to government to urgently revamp the facility, which he described as the oldest in the region.