COVID-19: Kwara suspends perm sec over viral evacuation video

Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19 pandemic has suspended the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Ayinla Abubakar, indefinitely.

This was contained in a statement by the Deputy Governor and Chairman, Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, Mr. Kayode Alabi.

The statement, which was obtained via the official Twitter handle of the Kwara State Government, alleged that Abubakar directed a driver to undertake the evacuation of an unkempt man with a COVID-19 ambulance without due diligence and respect for all safety protocols.

Alabi described the action of Abubakar and other senior ministry officials as embarrassing.

The statement read, “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 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 has been asked to hand over to the most senior officer on the team pending his return from suspension.

“This development also has necessitated a new round of refresher course (which is now ongoing) for all our ambulance drivers and members of the RRT, as the scenario witnessed in the footage cannot be allowed to happen ever again.

“Finally, 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 and 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 PUNCH reports that Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, had on Wednesday directed the sack of a government driver that unilaterally attended to an unkempt person who was evacuated with a COVID-19 ambulance in Ilorin.

THE PUNCH

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