By Ed Malik, A | December 5, 2022

It was about 10PM last night Friday, December 2, 2022, when the Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, thought to swing by unannounced, at two hospitals in Maiduguri only to find to his bewilderment that the patients were in darkness due to power outage that had lingered for a while.

On arrival from Abuja where he had gone for some official engagements, the governor got a hint that the hospital had been in blackout for days, and he decided to drive from the airport straight to the affected hospitals, to see things for himself and was shocked when he personally confirmed patients to be in darkness because there was lack of diesel supply to standby generators.

The hospitals visited were the Umaru Shehu Ultra-Modern Hospital and Fatima Ali Sheriff Maternity Hospital, both around densely populated Bulumkutu communities in Maiduguri.

Both hospitals have been relying on generators because of lack of electricity supply from the national grid for a long time since Boko Haram destroyed electricity equipment along Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, of which frantic efforts were still being made by federal and State officials to restore connections to areas yet to have electricity, including parts of Bulumkutu axis.

At hospitals, Zulum, asked persons in charge of generators some technical operating system questions, which led to his confirmation that the generators were fully functional, but lacked diesel to power them.

A flabbergasted Governor queried the persons, saying “It is very unfortunate that no official either from the Hospital Management Board or the Ministry of Health drew my attention to this outage.”

“If we can power our streetlights constantly, I see no reason why we cannot power our hospitals” Zulum lamented as he consoled patients and their loved ones for being in darkness despite dealing with illnesses.

In his signature pragmatic approach to governance, Zulum thought of the quickest way to secure supply of diesel to the affected hospitals and 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 afterwards, to find sustainable solution.

Consequently, he further ordered the extension of solar power installations to both hospitals, in order to ensure constant power supply, specifically directing an upgrade of existing solar-powered installation at Fatima Ali Sheriff Maternity Hospital and additional ones to the Umaru Shehu Ultra Modern Hospital.

The governor, who apologized to the suffering patients, promised to personally monitor and evaluate the work he has ordered thereof, to ensure timely intervention.

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