Nurses at the State Specialists Hospital in Ikare, Ondo State have shut down medical operations at the facility in protest over their unpaid salaries and entitlements.
The protesting nurses, members of the Ondo State chapter of the National Association of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, were expressing their grievances towards the leadership of the hospital over its insensitivity towards their plight in the facility. Specifically, they accused the leadership of refusing to pay their salaries and bonuses since November 2015 till date.
The protesting nurses, who chanted solidarity songs for many hours at the entrance of the hospital, also barred vehicular movement and prevented individuals from entering the hospital.
Sources told a SaharaReporters correspondent that the leaders of the hospital were maltreating medical workers, especially nurses.
Many of the protesting nurses who spoke also picketed the Accountant General of the government hospital, Dr. Aminu Kamila, and alleged him of absconding with their salaries and bonuses.
They jointly called for Dr. Kamila to be sanctioned and removed from his position by the State government.
"The Accountant General is a big thief. He is on the run with our salaries and could no longer come to the office because he knew all of us are ready for a showdown with him," one protestor said.
"Since November of last year, they have refused to pay us our salaries and bonuses. Every day, it's promise upon promise, but we are tired of their attitude and being cheated," one of the protestors, Iyabo Adefemi, told SaharaReporters.
Kolawole Ezekiel, chairman of the nurses in the hospital, also confirmed to our correspondent that the Accountant General had absconded with the protesting nurses' salaries.
"We have reported him several times to the Director of Nursing Services in the Ministry of Health, but it seems like he is above their control. We decided to shut down operations and services today at the hospital facility to show our displeasure towards the leadership," Mr. Ezekiel said.
SaharaReporters contacted Dr. Kamila over the accusations levelled against him, but he declined to comment and immediately switched off his mobile line.
Earlier, an aide to the Accountant General had told our correspondent that his boss would not be willing to speak about the protest and directed further inquiry to the State Commissioner of Health.