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Resident Doctors suspend strike following Reps’ intervention

By Mayowa Okekale, Abuja on 09/06/2016

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The proposed indefinite strike by doctors scheduled to commence on Thursday June 9, 2016 has been suspended for one week to allow the House of Representatives intervene in the issues between Doctors and the Federal Government.

This was followed by an intense appeal meeting held with the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, chairmen of relevant committees in his office, and the executive members of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) Wednesday, at the National Assembly.

He, however, asked the resident doctors to grant the House one week to meet with the Minister of Health and fashion out ways to meet their demands and address lingering grievances. While addressing the resident doctors, Dogara said: “Imagine a situation where all the resident doctors in Nigeria are on strike, what will happen to the people we represent? The first promise of democracy is life, thereafter liberty, and the third promise is the pursuit of happiness. And all of them rest on each other, if you don't have life, then you cannot begin to talk of liberty. If you don't have liberty then you cannot begin to talk about happiness. So ultimately, all the three hang on life. When there is no life, there is nothing, democracy is useless because a dead man doesn’t have liberty.

“So, I agree with you entirely. It should be the responsibility of government, actually, to ensure that those who are rendering services, those who are working, providing the vents by which the nation moves, should be able to enjoy not just their salaries, but every other benefit surrounding their scheme of service.”

Continuing, he said: “It doesn’t matter what faith you profess, for instance, it is clearly stated in the Holy Bible that a labourer should be paid his wages even before his sweat dries. I believe that as a responsible government we know this. It is not like we don’t know. But as to matters, challenges facing you, these are not things that we had discussed before, I only heard through the briefings I was given.”

Dogara appealed further to the association to understand that the country is presently going through financial challenges. “I can sit down with the chairmen of committees, some members of the relevant committees, with your good selves and members of the ministry so they can bring these issues so we’ll understand why someone will work for four to eight months and not be paid. What is the problem? And then we will attempt to address these issues together and if it doesn’t work, we can’t stop you from venting your anger and expressing your grievances.

“I appeal to you to give us till next week when I hope we will be able to invite them and we will sit down together and iron out the issues.”

The Speaker lamented that the wealth of Nigeria has shrunk due to decreased crude oil income, which is adversely affecting the ability for government to deliver on its responsibilities.

President of the Association, Dr Mohammad Askira, in his remarks, informed the Speaker that members of the association have not been paid their salaries and other entitlements for several months.

Photo shows Speaker Dogara.

Source News Express

Posted 09/06/2016 05:49:24 AM





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