REGSEC reopens office of Tamale Teaching Hospital CEO

BY: Mohammed Fugu
Mr Salifu Saeed, the Northern Regional Minister,  briefing the media
Mr Salifu Saeed, the Northern Regional Minister, briefing the media

Twenty four hours after he had been forced out of his office, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), Dr David Zaawumya Akolbila, is back at work.

This happened after the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, had led members of the Northern Regional Security Committee (REGSEC) to the hospital on Tuesday to reopen the CEO’s office.

Condemnation

Mr Saeed condemned the attack on the CEO and impressed upon pressure groups in the region to use appropriate administrative structures to address their grievances, instead of resorting to violence.

He warned that the REGSEC would not tolerate lawlessness and assured the hospital management of adequate security to improve efficiency at the major health referral facility in the northern part of the country.

Dr Akolbila thanked the minister for his swift intervention and refuted the allegations of corruption, incompetence and selective justice levelled against him by those who forcibly closed his office.


Security

Although the police are yet to make any arrest, the Northern Regional Police Command has beefed up security at the facility to ensure peace.

A day after the attack, the atmosphere at the facility was calm. Workers, including the CEO, were seen going about their normal duties.

The Northern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Mohammed Yussif Tanko, said: "We stationed policemen at the hospital on Monday and they will continue to protect the hospital. We assure patients and hospital staff of their safety.”

Attack/allegations

‘Kandahar’ Boys, a youth group affiliated to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Tamale, last Monday locked out Dr Akolbila on allegations that he was incompetent and corrupt.

Since Dr Akolbila was not in the office when the group arrived, the group chased out his secretary, after which they locked up the offices and took the keys with them.

A letter from the group claimed that the CEO had awarded contracts to seven companies he owned and operated.

It further alleged that “Dr Akolbila is in bed with the procurement officer and contracts are trafficked on a daily basis in the hospital”.

The letter also claimed that the CEO had issued threats to staff who complained about his management style.

NPP reaction

In a related development, the Northern Region branch of the NPP has condemned the attack on Dr Akolbila.

It has also suspended Alhaji Baba Alhassan, a member of the party’s regional communications team who is said to have led the group to the TTH to attack the CEO.

The Northern Regional NPP Communications Director, Mr Mohammed Issah, told the Daily Graphic that the party did not support such unlawful acts and urged the police to bring the perpetrators to book, regardless of their party affiliation.