The Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Prof. Henry Ugboma, is gradually becoming a shameless and irredeemable political sychophant.
His notorious and provocative commentaries and inciting rhetoric in the political space now gains more ignoble attention than his contributions to the medical profession, and as the administrative head of UPTH.
His political notoriety has been turned to using paid announcements in Radio Stations to appease his paymasters.
His appointment which was a political compensation was to serve as one of the arrowheads of the opposition political party in the State.
One is therefore not surprised that he has embraced this responsibility with crude overzealousness and and infamy that seemingly casts aspersions to his professional reputation.
Little wonder therefore that he has even now, become a tragic and pathetic acoloyte of the past administration in Rivers State.
With childish obsession and dwelling effusively on a past in which he conveniently forgets by a deliberate act of selective amnesia that two stupendous white elephants; the monorail project which is still a monumental disaster and the bogus Karibi Whyte Hospital, which is the greatest optical illusion scam ever conceived and perpetrated, still serve as references on the landscape, to remind Rivers people of the mind boggling rape of our resources.
One needs to remind Prof. Ugboma and his likes that the Rivers State Government with great humility, expressed her appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for graciously approving the N78.9billion refund of Rivers State money expended on Federal Projects. To promote the narrative of making people to believe the refund was an act of charity is infantile.
Let us also remind the emergency political commentator of the rigourous efforts of Governor Nyesom Wike to secure the refund and recover Rivers State money from the Federal Government, including a re-appraisal of the original refund request by the previous administration, which was even rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari in his first term.
This led to the setting up of a special committee to review the properly repackaged second request by Governor Wike, which compelled the Chairman of the Committee and the Minister of Works, Babatunde Raji Fashola, to visit Rivers State for an on the spot assessment of the projects, before payment was approved.
Ugboma and his anti-progressive co-travellers would have wished that Rivers money was never refunded but unfortunately, President Muhammadu Buhari believes that government is a continuum.
Like all good leaders, he has shown appreciation and even invited President Buhari on a state visit, to at least see the roads that the refund was meant for and also behold the amazing infrastructural legacy projects littered all over the State.
One can easily understand the pugnacious and utopian nostalgia of Ugboma. His bitter, ignoble, acrimonious and sometimes hate-filled vindictive political campaign have always met a brick wall.
The fact that Governor Wike has tolerated his political nuisance and meddlesomeness in matters that were outside his professional calling, is a true testimony of maturity from a leader who has the equanimity to tolerate his likes.
He tried to play politics with the safety of Rivers lives over the COVID-19 pandemic in the State but was cautioned to stop the mischief.
One is not surprised that Ugboma's cantekerous attitude and dictatorial tendencies have attracted the ire of his colleagues in the medical profession. The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has now demanded for his immediate removal as Chief Medical Director of UPTH, for alleged fraud, administrative rascality, unnecessary onslaught, victimisation and abuse of office.
They also called for the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of the suspended executives of the association at the Hospital led by Dr. Solomon Amadi.
An excerpt of the communique read by the Association's National President, Dr Sokomba Aliyu, after the National Executive Council meeting of NARD in Gombe state from 20-25th July 2020 goes thus: “NEC demands immediate removal of the Chief Medical Director of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Prof Henry Ugboma for fraud, administrative rascality, unnecessary onslaught/victimization and abuse of office of the CMD.
“We also demand the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of the suspended University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital Association of Resident Doctors executive members led by Dr. Solomon Amadi.”
Sadly, has carried his bad behaviour to the national stage and has become a negative ambassador of Rivers State in the eyes of the country.
What Governor Wike had since been enduring and accommodating has now been seen by Ugboma's colleagues and nothing can be more shameful like the rejection by your own colleagues and a call for one's removal.
Governor Wike is busy developing and making Rivers State, the Investors' Haven. The likes of Ugboma should stop living in the past and contribute towards the growth and development of the State. They should not drag us back to the dark days of his failed ambitions.
Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State
August 7, 2020