Ekiti seeks army’s help to tackle kidnapping, other crimes
CMD advocates social health insurance to help indigents
Ekiti State wants the army to send down troops to the state to assist other security agencies flush out kidnappers and other criminals making life unbearable for the residents.
It said that the invitation to the military became necessary due to growing crime rate in the state, especially kidnapping, violent robbery and other high-profile acts of criminality.
The deputy governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, gave the appeal yesterday in a chat with correspondents in Ado-Ekiti.
According to him, the state government felt disturbed that the military had to withdraw the men from check-points along certain flashpoints, such as Ado-Ekiti/Itawure road, Ikere-Ekiti/Ise road as well as Ifaki-Ekiti/Emure.
Egbeyemi said that the government was already in touch with the military authorities, adding that only the return of military presence on the roads across the state could guarantee safety of lives of travellers and other residents.
He said: “We urge the military to please return their men to those security check-points that have now been closed down and their men withdrawn.
“The military are the only ones that the robbers and other criminals fear most, as such, their withdrawal has given criminals leverage to perpetrate crime. Already, some concerned residents are beginning to be apprehensive about the development, and it is our duty to reassure them that there is no cause for alarm.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti (FETHI), Dr. Ebenezer Ajayi, has advocated the establishment of community-based social health insurance scheme to cater for indigent patients.
During the hospital’s end-of-year celebrations at Ido-Ekiti yesterday, the CMD said the hospital still had increasing number of indigent patients who could not afford out-of-pocket medicare expenses.
Ajayi said: “This hospital has been in the forefront of the advocacy for the institution of social health insurance programmes, especially the community-based type. The rich must take more than a passing interest in the health of the vulnerable and the poorest of the poor in the society.”
This, he said, was “despite that we run a tertiary hospital with the least hospital fees among its peers not only in Ekiti but perhaps in the whole of the south west geo-political region.
“For as long as majority of these (indigent) people are not covered by any form of health insurance programme, establishment of funds through contributions from well-meaning individuals, government and non-governmental organisations, including religious bodies, will be a good way out of this challenge.”