At last, ex-Gov. Akpabio patronises Akwa Ibom ‘World Class’ hospital

A former Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio, on Thursday visited the Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, for medical check-up.

The Ibom Specialist Hospital, built during Mr. Akpabio’s administration, was hurriedly commissioned by the then governor before he left office May 2015, while some major civil, mechanical and electrical works were still ongoing in the hospital.

The hospital also, sometimes last year, became a subject of controversy after Mr. Akpabio, now senate minority leader, travelled to the United Kingdom for medical attention after a car accident, abandoning the multi-billion naira facility his administration promoted as being of world class standard.

Mr. Akpabio later said the hospital’s take-off was delayed because foreign doctors billed to work there had not been cleared by the Nigerian Immigration Service to travel to the country.

The hospital officially commenced operation in November 2015, six months after it was commissioned.

It was Mr. Akpabio’s first visit to the hospital since he left office.

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Mr. Akpabio was said to have arrived at the hospital at about 12.45pm, accompanied by his former physician, Iniobong Essien, who is now the commissioner for environment in Akwa Ibom.

He was received by the hospital management who were excited that the man who conceived and built the facility was visiting it for check-up.

Mr Akpabio’s personal physician, Carter Onyeoziri, who was also there to assist him in his check-up, told PREMIUM TIMES that the senate minority leader went through a routine general check-up.

Mr. Onyeoziri said it was Mr. Akpabio’s first medical check-up in Nigeria since he was discharged from a hospital in London after the car accident in Abuja.

Mr. Onyeoziri said the senator deliberately chose to patronise the Akwa Ibom hospital, instead of traveling abroad for his medical needs.

“You know as at the time he (Akpabio) had the road accident, the doctors (who were supposed to work in Ibom Specialist Hospital) were still working on their (employment and immigration) papers.

“And now that the doctors are fully on ground, he decided to make use of the Ibom Specialist Hospital,” said Mr. Onyeoziri who is a general practitioner.

Mr. Onyeoziri said the former Akwa Ibom governor was seen by a cardiologist, and from there he went over to the radiology section for scan and x-ray. He was said to have spent about two hours in the hospital.

“After the check-up, he (Akpabio) was given a clean bill of health,” Mr. Onyeoziri said. “He will be due for another check-up between four to six months.”

Mr. Akpabio’s medical check-up at the hospital, his aide says, was also meant “to show Nigerians that the place is fully functional, and that Nigerians don’t need to travel outside the country for medical purposes.

“The cardiologist that attended to him has worked in six continents of the world,” Mr. Onyeoziri said.

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