RENOWNED surgeon, Prof Peter Obekpa, has cried out to both the federal and Benue State governments to come to his assistance to reclaim his pension which was last paid to him seven years ago in 2013.
Prof Obekpa, founder and Chief Medical Director of May Day Specialist Hospital located at the outskirts of Abuja, was one of the experts that set up the National Hospital, Abuja and had headed the Surgery Department of the hospital until he left to found May Day Specialist Hospital, which he said was meant to live up to the name by providing selfless service to those in critical need but who are not able to readily afford or access quality healthcare service.
He stated in a chat with Adagbo Onoja and Onah L. Iduh, editors of Abuja-based online newspapers, Intervention and National Record respectively, during an informal visit to his house at Abacha Road, off Abuja-Keffi Highway in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, that profit was never his motive when he set up the hospital then and now.
He said it was the reason why he opted to leave the US to come home and die among the people who so much love him. Saying with his trademark deep sense of humour and point-blank mannerism, Prof Obekpa said fearing that if he allowed himself to die in the US, his spirit will wander among white spirits and that other than his daughter, a medical consultant, there would be no one to cry for him there.
“Since I came home and I am not able to go to my hospital, I still hear that many people are already crying and praying for me. Yes, many, many people, I heard, are already crying. I imagine if I died in the US, apart from my daughter, there would be no one to weep for me, and my spirit would be lonely,” Prof stated this in such a manner that elicited prolonged general laughter.
Prof Obekpa, who was until recently the Chairman of the Board of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, and a one-time Benue State Commissioner for Health between 1993-1996, stated that although he harbours no bitterness against either the federal or Benue State government, it was not proper that people who had given their all to be abandoned at very critical points of their lives.
The renowned surgeon had been sick for about two years and had spent over a year in the United States receiving treatment. He returned to the country early last year and has been receiving treatment for his multiple ailments since then.
Prof Obekpa said all efforts he had made when he was healthy to ensure the recommencement of his pension failed and that since he fell sick about two years ago, his family had solely taken care of his medical expenses without any input from the Benue State government.
National Record is putting together a detailed interview that will be published in the weeks ahead.
- Pictures credit: Intervention