The Periscope Reporter
Ajibola Aishat Oluwafunke is a diligent and dedicated nurse who joined healthcare delivery service with Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital OOUTH 2006. Her service is untimely rather unlawfully terminated, as alleged, in 2020 because the institution was intolerant of her radical unionism; fighting for justice, proper placement of the shortchanged members, who out of fear of intimidation, abandoned her as a sacrificial lamb.
Oluwafunke, having resorted to prayers for a divine redress, also called on the well-meaning Nigerians to intervene with a view to have her reinstated.
The Periscope tried in vain to get the side of the management of the OOUTH before going to press. It has however reserved the right of response.
Bellow is the nurse’s public petition, seeking for redress that attracts larger attention:
SAVE MY SOUL AGAINST RIGHTS VIOLATIONS / UNLAWFUL TERMINATION OF MY APPOINTMENT BY OOUTH MANAGEMENT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE
I Ajibola Aishat Oluwafunke want to appeal to Nigerians that are voice to the oppressed, to please intervene in the violation of my fundamental human rights and subsequent unlawful termination of my appointment by the management of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, fuelled by the leadership of the Association of the Nigerian Nurses & Midwifery of Nigeria (NANNM),OOUTH Unit.
As a due diligent staff, guided by the ethics of my nursing profession as watchword, and one who is devoted towards my patients and fellow colleagues; I have enjoyed steady promotions since I joined Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital in 2006. This led to my subsequent promotion to the rank of a Principal Nursing Officer in 2015, and equally due for promotion to the Assistant Chief Nursing Officer as at 2018. No records of professional misconducts or negligence of duty ever leveled against me by the hospital management, our professional body (NANNM), or anyone else while I submissively discharged my duties until my appointment was wrongfully terminated on the 25th November, 2020.
Indeed, all had been smooth at duty post until I was elected by my colleagues out of goodwill to the position of the Unit’s National Association of the Nigerian Nurses & Midwives of Nigeria Treasurer (NANNM). I became the Unit chairman of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) in 2018, and State UGONSA Secretary respectively.
On assumption of office as the unit’s NANNM Treasurer in November 2018, my initial observations were that the handing over was handed to me without proper documentations to juxtapose income and expenditures of the association as expected. No vouchers, income and expenditure book, cheque book and impress book whatsoever. Neither was the documents supplied to me on request till date. I became enemy of sought to certain individuals. This led to a petition I wrote against Mrs Ogundehin in March, 2019, the incumbent Chairman of NANNM regarding how she threatened to slap me over the matter. (Evidence attached).
As a comrade, elected to represent the interests of our members, my unending dilemma in the hands of certain cabals within the hierarchy of NANNM (OOUTH) was triggered by my agitation for proper placement and implementation of lateral conversion for all Nurses in OOUTH, and my quest to know the results and reasons why graduate Chief Nursing Officer (CNOs), who equally participated in the 2017 interview were not promoted to the position of an Assistant Director of Nursing Services as applicable elsewhere within our professional nursing institutional progression framework. These individuals have remained in one position for more than 12 years.
I recalled in the course of my investigations on matters bothering on the promotion of these Nurses, how one Mrs Enaholo kikelomo, once threatened me in her office that my drum is beating harder and it will soon break. I asked her the meaning of her proverb; she queried in affirmation what exactly is my concerns with CNOs that are not promoted? I responded that I only owe them duty of care.
Besides, at UGONSA state level, many letters as regards the issue were written to the office of the Permanent Secretary, the then Head of Service, and Bureau of Service matters, including a letter of invitation to see the Honourable Commissioner for Health, but all of these came with few responses that led to no solutions, and the struggles continues.
The Hijab Incident And My Ordeal
Early this year, I was in the forefront of another issue on hijab , regarding a Nurse who was forced to remove her hijab.
I have no doubt in me that all of these nonetheless build up to see me out of the system.
I was removed from the Nurses WhatsApp platform on the 23rd of August 2019, thereby cut me off from members who voted for me to defend their interests.
Matters reported to both the unit and state NANNM Chairmen, but nothing was done to return me back till date.
Meanwhile, the National NANNM president was invited and he instructed the DDNS Enaholo, State NANNM Chairman, Mrs Solarin, and the unit NANNM Chairman, Mrs Ogundehin to return me to OOUTH Nurses WhatsApp platform and to make proposal to the management and provisions to promote graduate Nurses on CNO to ADNS, DDNS and DNS respectively according to Nurses unified scheme of service.
Rather, the victimizations continued after DDNS Enaholo threatened me for agitating for justice for our Nurses, who equally have the prerequisites qualifications to be DDNS.
The manipulation of my annual leave/payments in view of my major surgery operation. I was to commence annual leave on the 22nd of July, 2020, but I was made to be on duty by Nurse Elders in my unit and later made roster for me to commence leave on the 27th of July, 2020. I communicated this to the management with evidence that though I was trying to protect my department in the previous letter I wrote to the management. It came to me as a surprise that the director of Administration, Mr A.A Awoyomi went further to deduct my salary.
On the 3rd of September, 2020 I was operated (major operation”Haemorrhoidectomy”) upon at Babcock and I spent huge amount of money without management’s check on me, save for footing my hospital bill. Rather, they effected the deduction on my September payment.
My Media Interview, the Panel and the Sack Letter
In September 2020, I sent several messages to our unit NANNM executives’ platform, to defend one Nurse Prince Tega, who was being victimized for partaking in legitimate strike action called by the NLC and NANNM. Having pleaded on his behalf before the Unit NANNM executives, to prevail on the issue and free Prince Tega. This also was to no avail. I also informed the state NANNM Chairman, Mrs Solarin, who also expressed her contempt over the matter. I was left with no choice than to defend him as I equally owed him a duty of care as a financial NANNM member.
On the 5th of October, I was invited by an online programe; our own radio, “Nurses Arise Radio”. Issues ruminated upon was about my activism and unionism life and my impact in Nurse’s lives, which I granted in accordance to the laid down constitution of NANNM (article ix section f says a member has the right to initiate and constitute an action on his own expense when any breach of the provision is noticed)
Fortunately, Tega issue was raised and I said the truth about his predicaments and the need for justice to reign, though I was still recuperating from the surgical operation I had.
Unfortunately, his case was mishandled by OOUTH NANNM Executives, which made the case to end in court as I speak now. Following my appearance on ‘Nurses Arise Radio’, I was given a query letter on the 3rd November, 2020, by the Director of Administration, OOUTH, Mr A. A. Awoyomi. My sin, according to the letter was pedestal on the interview granted.
However, Nurses’s Radio is a platform for Nurses. Its modus operandi also encapsulate issues affecting Nursing profession, vis-à-vis Nurses welfare and rights, that requires no formal permission to honour by an elected principal nurse of my hierarchy.
I thus replied the query within the stipulated 24 hours, with succinct explanation that all I said on the platform was my personal opinion, and neither speaks on behalf of the management and administrators.
On 11th November, 2020, I got a follow-up letter to appear before a panel, set up by the OOUTH management. For fear of victimization, all my co-executive members deserted me as I appeared before the hurriedly constituted panel.
On the 25th November, I was given a purported termination letter which I could not handle emotionally and pleaded it should be sent to my lawyer.
Save for the goodwill I enjoyed among the same people sent by the management to humiliate me, I would have been rough handled by hospital security men and SSS invited by the hospital management to bungle me out of the hospital like a common criminal as I reported for duty on 26th November 2020.
The victimization against me became vicious and more evidenced with manners I was transferred from my previous unit within 15 months to General Out Patient Department, under the watch of Mrs Adekambi and Mrs Adesegun strategically positioned to monitors my movements which is akin to that of an ex- convict who is under security watch.
I became the only staff placed under instruction to sign movement book even within the hospital premises (evidence attached). Meanwhile, to fulfill all righteousness, my letter to the new OOUTH Management Board on 15th December, 2020 is yet replied at the time of filing this complain.
My Appeal To All Nigerians And Our Board Of Management
All my life, justice for Nurses and mankind has been my agitations. This, on account that I sought the help of UGONSA and Nursing Group Admin to help us intervene and make acquisition of Degree Certificates count in Nursing and promote graduate Nurses to ADNS, DDNS and DNS position respectively, which all began at the time I became the Unit Treasurer; one who will not compromise my religious belief as a God fearing Nurse, and neither compromised due process, professionalism at work, and more importantly never compromise in my struggle for the rights of my colleagues even though all have deserted me when I need their supports most simply because I stand for justice, equity, transparency and accountability as Leaders. But little did I know that my actions have placed me in the black book of certain interests at the OOUTH, who have penned me down for outright termination from my daily bread.
Appeal To The New Board Of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital.
In line with the condition of service booklet of OOUTH, I have written an appeal letter to the new board of management who I am hoping will help me to look into the matter and reinstate me for justice to reign.
I want to appeal to all meaning Nigerians most especially our new board of management to please save my soul as I am just recuperating from the major surgery I did and have many people who depend on me for their livelihood.
Pls Nigerians, I want to return to my duty post while still alive, even in view of the psychological trauma this incidence has caused me and my family, particularly at the time I am recuperating from a major surgical operation, and now it is a sack letter for being on the side of the truth.
I committed no professional or ethical blunder that warrants my untimely termination of appointments at OOUTH.
Why The Special Appeal?
This special appeal became so necessary as I saw in most of Nigeria dailies and Social media the malicious report on my personality by Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital Unit NANNM executives.
Please save my soul and family for justice to prevail before it is too late.
Thanks for your cooperation.
Ajibola Aishat Oluwafunke.
To be continued