Activities at the State Specialist Hospital, Benin City have been temporarily paralysed as a result of incessant armed robbery attacks on the hospital, NEXT has gathered.
Some wards in the hospital have been visited on several occasions by armed robbers, who unleash terror on the patients and medical workers on duty..
The children ward has been a particularly regular target of the armed men.
The latest attack, carried out at the weekend, was directed at the maternity ward and labour room.
Sources say the suspected armed robbers, numbering about 10, broke into the maternity ward through a back door at about 1.20am and conducted a bed to bed search for cash and handsets from those on admission.
Not satisfied with their loot, the armed men allegedly headed to the labour room where some women were said to be in labour. They did not spare them either.
A witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the women scampered for safety; with some reportedly taking refuge in the toilet while others ran out of the room naked.
Having had a field day, the armed bandits repeated their visit to the same ward the following night unchallenged - and they successfully operated and disposed their victims of money, handsets and other valuables.
At present, the hospital runs skeletal service. Its night shift has been put on hold for fear of a repeat of the ugly incident.
Fear of rape
A nurse, who also did not want her name in print, expressed fear of her colleagues that the evil men might one day descend on them and rape them.
The State Commissioner for Health, Moses Momoh, speaking during a telephone interview, described the incident as condemnable and capable of worsening the health conditions of the patients.
He however ascribed the poor security at the hospital to the road construction along the hospital gate which, he said, makes policing of the gate difficult.
He, however, said the Director of Hospital Services have been directed to get police protection for the premises.
Phone calls to the public relations officer of the state police command, Peter Ogboi, were not picked.