Several nurses in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State have objected to the demand for N20,000 to contribute to the retirement celebration of Directorate Apex, Kudirat Odunoye.
Accused nurses allege that Odunoye threatened to take action against anyone who failed to make payment and directed heads of primary health centres in the LGA to identify defaulters.
As the senior officer was scheduled to retire in January 2022, the nurses were reportedly mandated to pay the N20,000 between October and November 2021.
One of the nurses said she was worried about losing her job.
She said, “Alimosho has a lot of primary health centres. The Apex Director, Kudirat Odunoye, who heads directorates in all the primary health centres in the area, is compelling all nurses to pay N20,000 for her send-off.
“We are mandated to pay the money between October and November, and she has threatened to deal with any nurse that does not pay the money. She made the threat in a meeting and requested the names of any nurse that refused to pay the money. The demand is fraudulent; it is an oppression of the highest order.”
Another nurse urged the state government to intervene since some nurses had started paying the money out of fear.
“We pay outrageous amounts for people’s retirement. We pay N20,000 annual dues without justification, and now we are to pay N20,000 just because someone is retiring.
“She is the director of all the head nurses in the area, who are further obligated to make nurses under them pay the money. I know two nurses who were forced to pay,” the nurse said.
The aggrieved nurses provided WhatsApp chats to confirm the demand.
One of the chats read, “Good evening, great nurses. Based on the meeting we held today with all the Apexes and Directorate Apex Alimosho concerning her sent forth party, each nurse to contribute N20k each for gift and attire aso ebi for (the) day which commences between the month (of) October and November, I pray that almighty will bless each every one of us in Jesus name.”
When contacted, Odunoye denied forcing nurses to pay for her retirement.
She said, “I will not be the first or last to retire. I don’t know where they see the person that is threatening them. I don’t know who is compelling them, but there is a committee that they set up. You know I cannot be part of the committee.
“The committee has a lot of things it has been doing for the retirees; mine will not be the first or last. I never compelled or threatened anybody. You can call the Chairman of the committee as I never met with any nurse.”
The Chairman of the committee, who identified herself only as Onigbanjo, said, “There is nothing like that, although our Directorate Apex is retiring by the grace of God by January 2022, and we as nurses believe that for someone that has served humanity and the state for 35 years, we should give her a befitting send-off.
“We are still at the planning stage, and I believe if any nurse is against what we are planning, the person should register her objections instead of running to the press to tarnish the image of our beloved mother.
“She is not even aware of our planning until you called her, and we have not called a general meeting to discuss the financial implications with the nurses.”
The Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Alimosho chapter, Elizabeth Famuyiwa, confirmed the demand but said no one was under compulsion.
He said, “We concluded that nurses should pay N20,000 in preparation for the party, and we told the apexes to inform the nurses, but no one is compelling them, and there is no sanction. It is just an appeal to appreciate her (Odunoye).”