BORNO State Governor Babagana Zulum surprised many patients and workers at two hospitals in Maiduguri on Friday night when he ordered his aides to move diesel meant for the Government House to the facilities after realising they were in darkness.
The governor paid an unscheduled visit to the hospitals on his way from Abuja, a statement on his Facebook Page read Saturday morning.
Some people told him that the facilities had been without light for days.
Zulum wondered at the hospitals why none of their management staff or governing board members informed him about the outage.
The Umaru Shehu Ultra Modern Hospital and Fatima Ali Sheriff Maternity Hospital are both around densely populated Bulumkutu communities in Maiduguri.
The governor confirmed patients were in darkness because there was no diesel supply to standby generators.
Both hospitals rely on generators because they lack an electricity supply from the national grid.
Boko Haram has destroyed electricity equipment along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, and efforts by the state and the Federal Government to restore connections to the area is yet to achieve the desired result.
The governor said, “If we can power our streetlights constantly, I see no reason we cannot power our hospitals.”
Zulum, an engineering professor, asked persons in charge of generators at both hospitals some technical questions, which led to his confirmation that the generators had no problems. They were fully functional but lacked diesel to power them.
The governor decried the situation and consoled patients and their loved ones for being in darkness despite dealing with illnesses.
“Wondering the quickest way to mobilise diesel, the governor directed that available diesel meant to power generators at the Government House, Maiduguri, where he lives, be immediately transferred by trucks to both hospitals, pending his meeting with officials of the state’s Ministry of Health the following day, to find a sustainable solution.”
To ensure sustainable electricity in both hospitals, the governor directed upgrading the existing solar-powered installation at Fatima Ali Sheriff Maternity Hospital.
He also ordered installing solar power at Umaru Shehu Ultra Modern Hospital.
Zulum is popular for paying unscheduled visits to public institutions and making prompt interventions, including rewarding or sanctioning officials who do well or fall short of their responsibilities.