There is tension at the Delta State School of Nursing, Warri following what is being suspected to be a controversial dissolution of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) by the state Ministry of Health.
In a letter dated July 3, 2020 and addressed to the president of SUG of the institution, the school management accused the SUG leadership of collecting unapproved monies from students.
The letter signed by the principal, C. Oteri (Mrs.) urged the SUG president, Eugene Esiri, to explain why further disciplinary action should not be taken against him for the extortion.
“I also wish to inform you that on the orders of the Honourable Commissioner for Health through the Department of Nursing, the SUG stands dissolved till further notice.
“You are required to handover all properties in your possession to the Students’ Affairs Officer immediately,” the letter further directed.
However, students of the institution are irked by the development as they are accusing the school management and the supervising Ministry of Health of intimidation.
The SUG president denied collecting illegal fees, saying that what students have be paying was the normal dues recognised by the institution.
Meanwhile, investigation revealed that the SUG was mobilising students for a state-wide protest against plans by the ministry to introduce Local Community Nurses (LCN) and Local Community Midwives (LCM) when the dissolution hammer fell on them.
The LCN and LCM programmes, it was gathered, seeks to bridge the huge gap created by the obvious deficit of trained nurses and midwives in rural areas across the state.
But the students are opposed to the initiative on ground that it will promote quackery as the said trainees will not go through the normal rudiments of training.
“What they want to do is to train them on the job, more like auxiliary nurses and midwives. These people will lack the academic training that is highly required in the profession.
“Meanwhile, there are lots of qualified yet unemployed nurses and midwives who are willing to work in rural areas but they want to cut cost and promote quackery in the process,” a source said.
The source added that the major aim of the sudden dissolution was to weaken the ability of the SUG to mobilise for the planned state-wide protest against the LCN and LCM programmes, noting that the SUG opposition was in consonance with the stand of the state chapter of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).
The source further alleged that the SUG was also dissolved for the management to have unfettered access to the students’ account.
“I think the plan of the DNS is to get the SUG exco out of the way so that together with the principal, they can get access to the SUG purse.
“All they are interested in right now is where and how to loot money. That is their major area of specialization,” the source alleged.