By Yunusa Abubakar
The weekends before, Nas FM Radio was considered by the staff of, to have launched an onslaught on the Federal Medical Centre, FMC Yola, the present Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital, MAUTH Yola, Adamawa state, on the incident at the accident and emergency unit. The onslaught would however not elicit clinical response from the management of the institution.
The following weekend, in more of an update or what the clinicians would refer to as follow-up while reviewing their clients, Nas FM launched another onslaught, inviting the intervention of relevant bodies and authorities to challenge what the reporter, one Binyaminu Konkol, would consider as professional anomaly to have resulted in the lost of accident victims’ lives.
This too, would not elicit media response from the management of the health institution, even when the name of the head of information and media relations of the institution, Adamu Muhammad Dodo was mentioned in the onslaught, where he was technically accused of infringing the freedom of information, FOI, with a certain lawyer, said to be made to be involved in critical practice, justifying the FOI, without given adequate prior information of what actually transpired.
Could Dodo be that reckless to ignore FOI, to deny information, to snub the reporter as insinuated bearing in mind that he read, teaches and practices journalism, more still as a publisher?
For Dodo, the report was but “a profound exhibition of professional mischief, however misfit; a deceptive defamation, disinformation and misinformation, all in one”.
Dodo would say that he has however informal, related with a principal staff of the private radio station who assured that the situation would be addressed for a redress by bringing the spirited mischief to book without booking for colossal casualty on the station to have resulted from the, to be taken action of the institution, through the information and media relations department.
“Taking some lines from a revolutionary Zimbabwean, I concur that the audacity to lie, disinform, misinform or to be mischievous or treacherous is arguably a human dimension of some man who can never become one with the people because they have nothing in them that can be rehabilitated. They must in earnest be taught to realise the essence of adhering to objectivity in reportage, being ethical and professional in media practice,” Dodo would articulate.
While the management of the healthcare institution is waiting for the feedback from the radio station on the action taken against the defamation, disinformation and misinformation, the online media group would insist on getting the side of the hospital’s story for a balanced reportage.
There was a ghastly accident, which involved a vehicle and commercial tricycle across the bridge. Some passengers were feared dead.
A wife and son of a news reporter with Nas FM radio by name Joseph Kwaya were among the casualties taken to MAUTH Yola by the road safety Marshall..
Kwaya was said to have added insult to his injured wife who was in pain; nagging and cursing that it served her right that his wife left the house with his son to God knows where without prior permission. He was also considering not footing the wife’s medical bills.
The healthcare and medical professionals tried hard to suppress his anger, subdue his frustration with diplomacy; persuading him to consider the critical condition of his wife rather than criticism and cursing, spitting forth rather publicly, what ought to be a domestic issue.
Kwaya was said to have diverted his attention to one of the critically injured, unconscious victims, a lady and without any permission he called a presenter to report live about the condition of the unknown casualty he could have conceived was desirous of assistance.
Hajiya Safeenat Ahmed Salihu is the Head of Social Welfare Department of the health institution and a member of the Hospital Paupers Fund. She explained that accident victims who are either unconscious or without relatives are treated from the Hospital Paupers Fund. It is only when they are stabilized that the information and media relations department would be notified to relate with and through the media in search of the victim’s relatives.
There was no authority from the health institution to make any statement about the condition of the casualty receiving medical attention. This is unethical.
When there was an issue with the medical records staff, regarding the opening of folder, Kwaya went to the media instead of the hospital management, either through SERVICOM, quality control or the information and media relations. Clearly the act is mischievous.
It was entirely misleading to say that accident victims were abandoned because their names were not entered in a folder, how? With or without a folder, the casualties of accident and emergency are being attended to.
It was also not true that a small boy, as one of the casualties died due to professional negligence. The boy was taken to the hospital from the scene of the accident lifeless.
On the update that made up the second onslaught, Dodo explained that he asked the reporter, whom we gathered his name was Bilyaminu Konkol, to forward a formal request from the management of the Nas FM Radio station, stating their request clearly, because he sensed mischief, conspiracy and treachery, perhaps sponsored against the health institution to be executed by the reporter.
“I challenged them why did they come to me now when they should have sought the views of the hospital management before going to the press, previously? There was no cogent reason. Isn’t it a mischief?
“I asked the boy reporter what information he was looking for? He said he would want to have the views of the management on the upgrade of the health facility to a teaching hospital.
“I then asked him why did he go, prior to seeking permission from the management of the hospital, to interview the patients about the difficulties they faced while accessing healthcare delivery in the health facility before he was caught in the mischievous act by the medical records staff of the hospital? He couldn’t answer.
“Sensing the mischief, I simply demanded for a formal request from the management of the private FM radio, before granting the interview,” Dodo explained.
The public is already misinformed. However, Dodo said a lone radio station, having mischievous or untrained reporters, isn’t enough for any damage control consideration.
“I could recall about 7 years ago, when a citizen was perhaps sponsored to launch an onslaught on FMC Yola. to enrich the programme with objectivity, Alhaji Shekarau Yarima, the then programme producer sought for my views which is the management side of the story before going to the press. It was left for the audience to make honest judgment. That’s what we call professionalism in journalism devoid of mischief,” Dodo said.
As it is the FMC management is still waiting for the feedback from the Nas FM radio on the action taken against what is considered as mischief, misinformation and disinformation aimed at defamation.