By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
The Arole Oduduwa and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II has pacified members of staff of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife who were recently disengaged by the hospital management with a sum of N10million.
A statement made available to newsmen in Osogbo, by the palace media office, on Tuesday said the first-class monarch also donated 1,000 bags of rice, intending to ameliorate their suffering occasioned by the nonpayment of their 14-month unpaid salaries.
Ooni Ogunwusi who announced the donation while addressing the angry youths who occupied his Ile Oodua Palace on Monday, assured them that he is currently working with relevant stakeholders including the Federal Ministry of Health among others to resolve the crisis.
He said, “It is your right to protest if you feel an injustice has been done to you all, but I want you to apply wisdom to achieve beneficial results. I am dedicating myself and the ancient throne of Oduduwa to fight this fight to a logical conclusion.
“I am happy that you all have demonstrated core Omoluabi ethos of descendants of Oduduwa by allowing operations to resume at the hospital upon receiving my message. You have honoured me and I pray that God will honour you all.
“Beyond that, I wish to assure you that the Palace will support your dreams and aspirations in life even beyond the OAUTHC. I believe that most of you have big dreams and you are only looking for how to achieve it but I am calling on you all to use me as a ladder to reach your peak in life,” The Ooni said.
Speaking on behalf of the disengaged workers, Samson Falope, revealed that the hospital Management served them a circular last Wednesday, 31st January 2024, disengaging over 1,500 workers from their duty posts, after serving the institution for about 15 months with most of them not getting paid a dime.
On their move to create awareness about their predicament, Falope explained that they were left with no choice but to converge at the hospital complex main gate on Thursday, 1st February, 2024, to seek the audience with the Management but the Chief Medical Director of OAUTHC, Professor John Okeniyi and his team did not show up.
Falope, an estate officer II of the Civil and Maintenance department, lamented that they were taken through all recruitment and verification processes after which they were issued the required documents with which they have been working since 2022.
He said, “Kabiyesi you have wiped our tears and we pray that God Almighty perfect all your affairs. We cannot thank you enough especially as these people (OAUTHC Management) almost turned us into a nuisance after using us for about 15 months without pay.
“We were interviewed, screened, taken through orientation programs organized by the management, oath form was given to them, appointment letter was given to them, they had resumed their duties, observing both day and night shifts, only to be told to go home after serving with all we have for about 15 months.
“Our children are out of school since we can no longer pay their school fees, we have aged parents at home, nobody to take care of them, we do not know where to start again, so, we have no other choice than to embark on a peaceful protest, shutting the main gate of the hospital complex but allowing emergencies to enter the hospital for immediate treatment,” he stated.