By Philip Agbese
From the days of Jesus Christ in the Bible it has been established that good men must come to grief with their good works. This aptly describes the present travails of Dr. Matthias Oyigeya in the hands of mischief makers who have capitalized on his unassuming posture and self effacing style as an active transformer to ruin his hard earned reputation at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi.
It has been argued in so many quarters before now that there is nothing that can ever force the centre to work for the health needs of the people of Benue State irrespective of financial commitment by government or administrative will by management because a certain group of persons have installed themselves as emperors to frustrate anybody that comes in to head the institution as Chief Executive Officer not minding his or her state of origin. For a long period of time, these evil men who superimposed themselves as ‘a cabal’ have continued to pose as threats to current challenges in the health sector and government reforms that are designed to position the institution for effective service delivery to the people of Nigeria.
Ninety days our people say are for the thief but one day for the owner (poor masses) and that day was 1st July, 2008 when late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua appointed Dr. Matthias Oyigeya as the Chief Medical Director of the centre. Many stakeholders saw his appointment as a demonstration of then President Yar’Adua to see to the secondary health needs of the people of Benue State and neighbouring towns in view of the people’s population and Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi being the only tertiary health centre situated around the vicinity.
The challenges before the Consultant Psychiatrist were enormous that a chicken hearted fellow seeing the near collapse of infrastructure, un-improved workforce, inadequate medical equipments coupled with heated industrial unrest within the centre will park his load and disappear into thin air. Dr. Matthias Oyigeya also had the options of sustaining the status quo which was, ‘you share the money, we give you peace or chop alone and we give you trouble or dare the devils and write his name in gold. He decided in his wisdom as a doctor who feels the pains of his patients to adopt the latter strategy and make the desired changes that are necessary to sustain the good medical attention for our people.
In contemporary Nigerian English, a cabal is a group of persons who constitute themselves to elements of set back in any sector of our national development. Yes, it was late Yar’Adua’s Minister of Information, Professor Dora Akunyili who first deployed the word ‘cabal’ to refer to those who were making it impossible for then Vice President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to assume office as Acting President. In no doubt, the word received high patronage within the period due to the public sympathy which the situation attracted at that time and today it has become a part and parcel of the Nigerian system.
It was in January this year that the grammar master, Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon officially added it to the dictionary when he said Nigeria is fast turning to a ‘cabalocracy’ where the affairs of state are managed by a cabal for a cabal. In fact, this definition has defiled the common sense meaning of democracy and Nigerians must take it seriously that it is not one of those fanciful words of Patrick those days in the House of Representatives. They are cabals everywhere and even exist down to the family units of every community.[tip direction="e"]It was in January this year that the grammar master, Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon officially added it to the dictionary when he said Nigeria is fast turning to a ‘cabalocracy’ where the affairs of state are managed by a cabal for a cabal.[/tip]In the power sector we have a group that believes that any improvement in the generation of power will transmit to a total shut down of their generator exporting business and thereafter having a negative effect on their bank accounts. These people see nothing wrong in traveling to Asian countries to import sub standard generators when we have gas from crude oil and enough water to generate power everywhere in the country. Here we have the popular power sector cabal.
Those who benefit from importing empty vessels of premium motor spirit generally known as petrol and before arrival have their bank accounts credited with billions of naira are the notorious big boys’ oil cabal. We also have the lesser thieves who drive empty tankers through Vandekiya to Cameroon and return through Badagry to claim millions from taxpayers fund in the name of fuel subsidy who are referred to as the small boys’ oil cabal.
Cabalism has made life so meaningless to Nigerians that it seem to have taken over every facet of our national life. They exist and operate within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to frustrate the war against corruption but the most worrisome kind of cabalocracy is the group operating within our hospitals. We gathered that these men own mortuaries and undertaker services across the country and will do anything possible to make sure our hospitals do not work. Some sell caskets to families of deceased at very exorbitant prices while others specialize in making akara uniforms. In fact some go as far as digging potholes on our highways and at the same time ensure that there are no drugs in our hospitals for doctors to treat accidents and emergencies.
Undoubtedly, the hospital cabals are the exact set of people looking for the head of Dr. Matthias Oyigeya, the Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi to give to their beautiful daughters as a birthday gift like the big head of John the Baptist in the Holy Bible. The cabal wants to crucify Oyigeya for daring them and restoring the hopes of many families who have visited the new Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi under his stewardship. These evil men have made it a point that money allocated for rehabilitation of structures and expansion purposes must be shared into their private pockets. The cabal has been infuriated with the fact death rate has largely reduced since Oyigega has provided affordable drugs and equipments to carter for the sick. As if it was not enough for the Medical Director, he ignored their wise counsel that only their brothers should be employed to do cleaning services around the hospital when our widows are begging for food to eat. He went further to complete all on-going projects at the Apir permanent site of the centre and thereafter transferred most major units of the hospital to a befitting structure that suits the name and the functions.
My perusal of the document which they call a petition before a member of the House of Representatives is that Oyigeya’s sky rocketing achievements in office are enough reasons to fetch him re-appointment for 2nd term by Mr. President who is interested in consolidating on transformation and destroying every form of cabalocracy within our democracy. To these hawks, re-appointing a performing Oyigeya that is a plus to public good is a minus to them and total declaration of war against their greedy empire for another four years. I hope the voice of reason will prevail on them soon that this era of Transformation under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is a season of war against every form of cabalocrcay.
Dr. Matthias Oyigeya has defiled their temple that was built by sharing taxpayers’ money and for this reason their god is also demanding for his head or nothing less. These evil men are more desperate than cabals except for the fact they are ideologically bereaved and have no torch with present day realities. The FMC Cabal as they have been code named by staff and patients that visit regularly are ready to do anything to teach Oyigeya a lesson of his lifetime but the people are watching and will rise up in his defence. We respect their constitutional right to achieve greatness by any means but not at the detriment of patients that are undergoing life threatening pains already. They could do it to us in other areas but let them leave our hospitals alone. His blood will be too bitter for them to leak because every home is singing to God to spare his life for bringing standard and affordable health care services to the reach of the common man.
Agbese Philip, President General, Nigerian Unemployed Youth Forum contributed the article from Makurdi.