By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
The Permanent Secretary in the Kwara State Ministry of Health, Dr. Ayinla Abubakar, has been placed on an indefinite suspension over the COVID-19 pandemic.
His suspension was borne out of the government’s anger over an alleged unprofessional handling of a suspected Coronavirus patient on Tuesday; this was just as a driver attached the Kwara State Technical Committee on COViD-19 has already been sacked.
The driver, in a video footage that had gone viral on the social media was deeply involved in an evacuation exercise of a suspected COVID-19 patient, said to have locked himself up in his vehicle for days.
He was said to have gone into deep depression because of the problem and other alleged “personal life challenges”.
The patient’s evacuation, however, was allegedly done in a derogatory manner, with insults being hauled on him by the driver, who allegedly went there outside the Rapid Response Team, RRT, of the state COVID-19 Committee.
The driver’s immediate sack was ordered by the governor, Mr. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday.
Spokesman of the COVID-19 Committee in the state, Rafiu Ajakaiye, said; “The committee is thoroughly embarrassed at the whole development.
“The driver has been sacked from all activities of the committee for unilaterally allowing evacuation of the man by members of the public without waiting for the Rapid Response Team, RRT, to arrive the scene as instructed,
“The Permanent Secretary, who directed him to proceed on the operation with a COVID-19 ambulance without due diligence and respect for all safety protocols, is hereby asked to proceed on an indefinite suspension forthwith.”
The suspension order was signed by Mr. Kayode Alabi, the state Deputy Governor and Chairman of the COVID-19 Committee, Ajakaiye added.
The Deputy Governor, in a statement said, “As the highest official involved in the RRT squad, who gave the directive for the driver to proceed, the committee does not accept his explanation regarding the ugly development.
“He has been asked to hand over to the most senior officer on the team, pending his return from suspension. This development also has necessitated a new round of refresher course (which is now ongoing) for all our ambulance drivers and members of the RRT.
“The scenario witnessed in the footage cannot be allowed to happen ever again. We are sorry once again for the development. It should not have happened.
“We do not take the support of the Kwara people for granted, and we reassure them that Kwara retains its proud ratings as one of the states with the best facilities, response, and general preparedness to manage this pandemic.”