It’s not the best of times for the Patients, Staff and Management of the Jos university hospital JUTH, as the protest which started peacefully on Monday (JUTH blocked by protesting health workers) turned violent on Tuesday 2nd August, the second day when police officers tried to disperse the workers who had occupied the main entrance of the hospital but failed.
Five persons are currently receiving treatment at the Jos University Teaching hospital (JUTH) following the use of gas canisters by police officers on protesting workers of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) of JUTH Tuesday afternoon, persons hospitalised include Mathew Nyam, Nakuza Isreal Daniel, Nanlop Audu and Susan Joseph of catering department while Juliana Ibrahim, an attendant also sustained injuries.
The joint health workers union JOHESU of the university of Jos Teaching Hospital JUTH were protesting the non-implementation of the agreement signed by the hospital management in June and the now insistence of the hospital management to implement the ‘no work, no pay’ policy only after the workers had called off their strike in June, therefore denying them April and May salaries.
The Workers faulted it on the insensitivity of the hospital management led by the Chief medical Director, Professor Edmund Banwat, calling for his removal. Members of the health workers union described the action of the CMD as unfortunate because he had failed to meet with the union since June 1st, 2016 after signing an MOU with them to discuss the way forward on some of their demands.
Chairman of the Union, Mustapha Kabiru said that the Assistant Police Commissioner, Operation had given the order for the use of gas canisters on them alleging that over 20 canisters had been used directly at protesters. Kabiru called on the federal government to shut down the hospital adding that “we cannot guarantee what will happen tomorrow because our people have been molested”.
Treasurer of the union, Vwamse Frederick, who was molested by police officers, said “they asked for the Chairman and the Secretary but they were not around; so I tried to call the chairman but they said I was making calls in front of the Assistant Commissioner and they started beating me.”
Some of the protesters also alleged that area commander gave an order for shooting as one of the patient has a bullet wound and cloths torn.
Police Public Relations Officer, Tyopev Matthias Terna, asked for time to verify the true situation of things before he could comment and said that the Police only went in to prevent the protest from degenerating further into Violence.