The activities of the hospital were suspended on Friday, November 10, 2017, on the instruction of the Archbishop of Bamenda, His Grace Cornelius Fontem Esua, after the people of Njinkom stormed the hospital on Saturday, November 4, 2017, demanding the sacking of the hospital Matron, Rev. Sr. Olive Nga.
In his letter dated Friday, November 10, to Rev Sr. Roberta Feh, the Provincial Superior of Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis Shisong captioned: “The Suspension of Activities at St. Martin de Porres Catholic General Hospital Njinikom,” Archbishop Esua said he was deeply saddened by the events that took place at the hospital on Saturday, November 4, when the population of Njinikom, stormed the hospital and demanded that the hospital Matron, Rev. Sr. Olive Nga, should leave the hospital either “dead or alive.”
“This is unacceptable and I strongly condemn this act of barbarism which is not in consonance with the mission and teaching of the church.
“Considering the fact that this has greatly affected the normal functioning of the hospital, because most of the workers who are “not of Kom origin are being threatened and some have even fled for their lives, I am, therefore, as the Archbishop of Bamenda, under whose authority all Catholic institutions carry out the works of evangelisation in the Archdiocese of Bamenda, ordering the immediate suspension of activities in the hospital, except the emergency services to the sick, until further notice. In the meantime, we are initiating consultation with the various stakeholders with a view to finding a long and lasting solution to this problem,” Mgr. Esua wrote.
Following the Archbishop’s epistolary, all activities in the hospital were suspended but for very critical ones. Four women who were in advanced pregnancies left the hospital, but before they could get to their destinations, all four delivered in the open.
It was thanks to the collaboration of other women in Njinikom who helped their peers to deliver them of their babies.
Because of the prevailing situation a crisis meeting was convened by the Boyo Senior Divisional Officer, Fidele Tegni.
Speaking in the presence of the administrative, municipal, traditional and religious authorities, the Member of Parliament for Njinikom and Belo Subdivisions, Hon. Evaristus Njong Ndim, regretted the unfortunate incident and urged his people to exercise restraint and stop the blame game.
According to him, the population should be part of the solution, given that genuine dialogue has been convened by the Boyo administration to probe into the matter.
“The truth, which we cannot deny, is that the Njinikom Catholic General Hospital is owned and managed by the Franciscan Sisters, a charitable organisation. The truth is that this hospital was constructed by the Church, we participated in it and we are part and parcel of the hospital....
“Mistakes have been committed at all levels, that is why the Archbishop told us that he is sorry for what happened and had to suspend the activities of the hospital. He will surely open the hospital within three days if we present our proposals that will lead us to operate in peace...,” Hon. Njong said
On his part, the Mayor of Njinikom, Terence Chah Bam, said if the crisis was tactfully handled, it would not have degenerated.
He condemned all those who want to give Njinikom a bad name to hang it.
“We want the world to know that nobody beat or molested the Matron of the General Hospital Njinikom, Rev. Sister Marie Olive Ngah, nor the Archbishop. So many telephone calls have kept us restless. Nobody rough handled them,” Mayor Chah Bam averred.
Meanwhile, Boyo SDO, Fidele Tegni, warned that emotions should not becloud reasoning in finding a lasting solution to the crisis.
“We are facing enough insecurity crises in the Region and people should be very careful with what they post on social media, even our local journalists, should watch out on what they broadcast or publish as news. News should only be based on facts and to tell the truth. Some people who did not verify their facts went and said the Matron and the Archbishop were beaten, which is not true,” the SDO said.
According to Tegni, it was based on the misinformation that he has convened a crisis meeting in his office in Fundong to resolve the problem for the hospital to resume its activities.
“I believe in Njinikom intelligence and I am hopeful we will come out of the crisis,” the SDO stated.