Posted by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi | 24 January 2013 | 3,617 times
Health workers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Anambra State, yesterday joined their colleagues across the nation in a peaceful demonstration calling for the removal of the Health Minister, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, whom they accused of being insensitive to the plight and welfare of health workers.
The protesters who appeared in their large numbers clad in red and black attire marched round the hospital premises several times and Nkwo Nnewi Triangle to sensitise people with placards bearing inscriptions that read “Mr Minister Remember Posterity”, “Mr President Please Come To Our Rescue”, “We Have Unhealthy Health Minister”, “A Quit Notice For Health Minister”, among others.
The protest which lasted more than three hours disrupted activities at the hospital. Police and other security agents watched closely but did not intervene.
A statement by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) said the protest was staged because of the nonchalant attitude of the Minister of Health to the welfare of health sector workers. The union members said they were being skipped when their promotions were due and denied other welfare packages accrued to them. JOHESU is the umbrella union of the Senior Staff Association, Forum of Federal Health Institution Nurses and Midwifery, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Non Academic Staff Union, among others in the health sector.
A letter signed by the national secretary of JOHESU, Comrade Yusuf Badmus W. G., made available to newsmen at NAUTH said: “The need to prosecute this rally becomes more germane and necessary, considering the lackadaisical attitude with which the Federal Ministry of Health is handling the case in National Industrial Court. It has failed to make submissions for necessary hearing of the case at the last hearing date of Wednesday January 9, 2013, thereby delaying the conclusion of the case in court.”
The statement urged JOHESU members across the country to comply and make the nationwide rally a huge success.
Earlier, the affiliated unions to JOHESU in NAUTH in a signed document said they had notified the management in respect of their participation in the nationwide rally in support of their struggle with the Federal Ministry of Health on the welfare of their members and in particular their demand for the removal of Prof. Chukwu as Health Minister.
•Photo: Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu has incurred the workers’ wrath and they want him sacked.
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