ARD VS ABUTH
A MANIFESTATION OF BETRAYAL
Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Zaria, is not only the first among
equals, but actually the pioneer of almost all medical advancement in Nigeria. Formally
Ahmadu Bello University Institute of Health, it is the greatest health edifice established
and bequeathed to our present generations by Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto
and Premier of Northern Nigeria. The hospital has, over the years, groomed and produced
generations of professors in almost every medical field known to man.
As enshrined in the international workers’ rights code, all workers’ unions operate freely
at ABUTH within the bounds of law – enjoying its state-of-the-art facilities and the
patronage of its friendly management. Unfortunately, the leadership of the Association of
Resident Doctors (ARD) at the hospital has been recently hijacked by some negative
elements of the cult. The greedy and ‘villains of the piece’ are taking the ARD for a ride
and, as expected, their substance has began to manifest in a foolish way. The outcries:
‘No cotton and spirit at ABUTH’, ‘No anti-venom at ABUTH’, ‘No Security at ABUTH’,
‘No Sanitation at ABUTH’ e.t.c, are nothing but their foolish way of expressing their
negative minds. Fortunately, the teeming number of patients, their relatives and friends
who patronize the hospital have all the senses it takes to ascertain the validity or falsity of
the above foolish claims!
We, the Northern Kaduna State Youth Forum (NOKASYF), have taken time to ascertain
the claims for ourselves, and even gone further to fathom the reality of things beyond the
cloud of the ARD’s frothy ravings! We have found out that, among other things, the
followings are the actual reasons behind the vaneers of their mischievous outcries:
1. The ARD members’ unreasonable insistence on getting their ‘training allowance’
even in the grim face of the current realities of general economic recession in the
country. We learnt that there has been no fund release from the government in this
respect for quite some times. Yet the ABUTH management prudently utilizes their
meager Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in settling the allowances, just to get
things going. However, the ARD’s incessant strike action (12 times in 2 years!)
has adversely affected the frequency of the IGR accruance to such a point it could
no longer settle the ‘training allowance’. Who is then to blame?!
2. The doctors’ demand for ‘skipping salary’ has been considered by the Government
but would have to be appropriated for in the budget. The Hon. Speaker, National
Assembly, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, has reiterated while intervening in the NARD
strike few weeks ago that, ABUTH is among the 42 hospitals in Nigeria with no
fund to pay skipping salary for doctors as at now. Why are you the ONLY ones to
3. The ARD members’ unbridled greed propensity for money, money and money
alone! Their inconsiderate strike actions are clear testimony to the fact that the
hospital they claim to work for has no place in their money-engraved hearts! Our
communities have began to understand this! Although they earn a frightening
lump-some of money as their take-home pay, these ‘doctors’ are badly ingrate and
never contented. All the other cadres in the hospital staff are witnesses to this
unfortunate reality of the doctors’ mentality.
4. The ARD members’ complete lack of patriotism as required for proper discharge
of duty and quality service delivery in public institutions. Professionalism coupled
with patriotism make a useful and good citizen. Devoid of all sense of patriotism,
many of these ‘doctors’ behave no better than any unreliable gold-digger!
5. It is apparent that, the ABUTH (under the present Chief Medical Director, Prof.
Lawal Khalid) has recorded some amazingly stupendous developments in every
sphere of hospital management. The total rehabilitation of the hitherto abandoned
Tudun Wada ABUTH Old Site is a case in point. It takes a combination of patriotic
magnanimity, heroic spirit and administrative expertise to restore life to a decayed
hospital, reduced to an eerie heap of rubles by years of utter neglect. The ABUTH
Old Site is now brighter and consists of facilities more modern than the New Site.
Let everybody visit it for once to praise the Lord aloud for this wonderful
achievement. Zaria communities and environs are extremely happy and equally
indebted to the present ABUTH management for bringing this auspicious health
facility closer to their doorsteps once again. Yet it is apparent that, those internal
‘suspicious elements’ are nervously uncomfortable with this development for
reasons best known to them.
1. To bring this palaver to an end, we earnestly call on the Federal Government to,
without further delay, cancel the payment of this controversial ‘training allowance’
for Resident Doctors. It is worrisome that the so-called allowance has the capacity
to excessively spoil the doctors and blur their eyes from seeing the present
Nigerian economic reality. Henceforth, let these haughty doctors fund their own
training allowance as DO all the other professionals in Nigeria.
2. It is worthwhile to mention that, the communities of the hospital’s catchment area
are awfully unhappy with the doctors’ epileptic service delivery. We are furiously
angry with these doctors’ gold-digger mentality. To be specific, we would NO
LONGER condone any attempt by these doctors to disparage and smear the good
image of our glorious hospital. If any doctor is tired of the ABUTH service, let
him or her simply take a bow and leave!
3. We want patriotic citizens as our doctors NOT unreliable gold-diggers! We
therefore call on the Federal Ministries of Health and Education to critically
overhaul and review the old defective curricular for all Medical-related courses. To
make it complete, whole and positive, that missing moral and patriotic ingredients
must be injected into it without further delay.
4. We also call on the ARD members to respect themselves and ONLY do what will
promote the good image of our prestigious hospital – which we are ready to go
extra miles to protect! Why MUST you betray and bite the hand that feeds you?
The hospital pays you salary every month without failure. That alone is enough
reason for you to be grateful, patriotic and ethically active doctors, please. Kada a
rasa ido wajen neman gira!
5. As our Royal Father, we humbly call on the Emir of Zazzau, Alh. (Dr.) Shehu Idris
(CFR) to majestically intervene in the matter and call the wayward ARD members
to order for the LAST time. If, notwithstanding, they adamantly proceed on the
strike by September 15, 2016 as they have threatened to (Daily Trust, September
6, 2016), we will accordingly disclose our next course of action!
Alhussain Yahya Ahmed Abdullahi Dabo
Secretary General Publicity Secretary.