Management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) closed its gates on Wednesday to prevent protesting doctors from marching out of the facility.
A security officer on the medical campus disclosed to SaharaReporters that the Chief Security Officer, who he identified simply as Mr. Kpuduwei, ordered the gates to be locked.
The president of the LUTH branch of the Association of Resident Doctors, Dr. Adebayo Sekumade, explained that the doctors had planned to hold a protest over unpaid salaries, poor working conditions and other grievances at a venue within the hospital. However, when the doctors arrived at the venue on Wednesday morning, the room was locked, prompting them to storm out of the hospital.
“We set out to exercise our fundamental human rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which empowers us to assemble. When we arrived at LUTH this morning, we were locked out of the intended venue and there were police stationed all over the hospital premises,” he said.
“Patients are locked outside the gates. The hospital is meant to save lives and not to take them. Workers are at the main gate and they are being locked out while sick patients are outside begging to be allowed into the hospital.”
Speaking further, Dr. Sekumade lamented the poor, deteriorating state of the hospital.
“The hospital has not been working for a very long time. There are no materials to work with - no needles and syringes, no latex gloves, no lights,” he said. “We have come to say there must be change.”
Secretary of the LUTH branch of the Medical Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Adeyinka Adewale, asserted that LUTH management is violating human rights laws by restricting people from moving in and out of the hospital.
“The management of LUTH has decided to infringe on the rights of workers with regard to freedom of movement and speech. This confirms our complaints that the head of the management of LUTH is a tyranny and a dictator. He stopped us from embarking on our peaceful protest,” he lamented.
“Sick people are right outside the hospital, but the management is also barring them from coming inside LUTH and not caring if they die outside. We don’t know why he is doing this, but it is sad that someone who calls himself a professor and a doctor would deliberately lock the gates of the hospital.”
Another union member, Comrade Shabba Johnson Adetokunbo, also decried the poor treatment of staff in the hospital. He said that workers are owed salaries and allowances and they are not being promoted when due.