Top Kwara Govt Official Suspended Over Controversial COVID-19 Operation

File photo/ AFP

The Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19 pandemic has asked the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Ayinla Abubakar, to proceed on indefinite suspension.

The State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the committee, Kayode Alabi, announced this in a statement on Thursday.

He explained that the decision followed the mishandling of the evacuation of a man said to have locked himself in his vehicle for days and had become distressed following some personal life challenges.

Alabi noted that a video had gone viral, showing how the rescue operation for the man was poorly carried out.

He said, “The committee is thoroughly embarrassed at the whole development.

“While 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.”

“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 added.

The deputy governor revealed that Abubakar has been directed to hand over to the most senior officer on the team, pending his return from suspension.

He stated that the incident necessitated the ongoing refresher course for all ambulance drivers and members of the RRT in Kwara, stressing that the scenario witnessed in the footage cannot be allowed to happen again.

Alabi apologised, “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.”

“We reassure them that Kwara retains its proud ratings as one of the states with the best facilities, responsiveness, and general preparedness to manage this pandemic.

“This has been attested to by the NCDC team as well as the Stears Business rating of the level of states’ responsiveness and preparation for the pandemic,” the deputy governor said.

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