JOHESU wants Buhari’s quick intervention over victimized workers at FMC, Owerri.
The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) have called in President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene on the plights of their members at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri, who are being victimised for whistle-blowing in an attempt to support Buhari’s anti-corruption war.
The call was part of many demands made to President Buhari, when JOHESU leadership, led by its Chairman and National President of MHWUN), Josiah Biobelemoye, met with him at the Presidential Villa recently.
While calling for President Buhari’s urgent intervention, Biobelemoye had said many of the workers at FMC, Owerri had been denied salaries for four months because of their anti-corruption stance, while some of them were also denied promotions.
He said: “The sad aspect of it is this; the government called us that we should come out and fight corruption and we answered to the call. I am not blaming the President because he can’t be everywhere, but the Federal Ministry of Health that managed the process at that time was never on the same page with the President.
“So, what did they do? Rather than rewarding the whistle blowers, having blown a genuine whistle, they decided to intimidate and punish our members. Having proved our case, the EFCC came in and investigated the case, it corroborated our matters and even got more than we blew, and preferred charges. Whatever happens at that level is not our concern any more. The issue is, we blew a whistle and the EFCC confirmed the whistle.”
He pointed out that whatever happened in court due to the issue of “technicality,” their members should not be blamed and punished for that.
Biobelemoye regretted that rather than the ministry supporting the cause of fighting corruption, the ministry decided to punish the people for blowing the whistle.
“To crown it all, rumours started that they wanted to return the same person that had been sent on administrative leave and been found wanting by the EFCC investigation and other things,” he added.
He explained that the workers resisted the attempt to bring the person back to manage that place. “As far as we are concerned, you are bringing this person back to come and mutilate the exhibit and evidence there is, you’re bringing this person to come and intimidate, victimise the workers,” he added.
According to him, “those who said Nigeria system must be good are now like 700. As I speak with you, those people are still denied their salary and their promotion. So, we are using this medium to call again. Specifically, we call on President Buhari to see to this issue.”