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Health workers threaten nationwide strike

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The Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHE) has hinted that it would embark on a national strike if their demands were not met on or before April 17 this year.

They urged President Muhammadu Buahri and the Federal Ministry of Health to accede to their demands in order to avert a major disruption of activities in the health sector

National President of HUAHE, Comrade Obinna Ogbonna, said this yesterday at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) during the ongoing sensitisation of members about the impending industrial action.

He told the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Professor Edmund Banwat, to tell the Federal Government that after 30 working days of grace it gave, to again, resolve the discrepancies and discriminations in the sector, they would withdraw their services.

He said the April 17 ultimatum was a good enough time for a government that is sensitive to the plight of the people to address the issues and avert the looming strike.

“But if the government fails to meet our demands, then we shall use our last weapon, which is withdrawal of our services against our desires and will.

“And the issue of implementing ‘no work no pay’ will not hold this time around because at the tertiary institutions, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Non-Academic Staff Union will go on strike, but they will still collect their salaries.

“But when it comes to the health sector, because you want to be wicked to the people, you beat a child and you said the child should not cry. Is that correct? We went to court. The court passed judgment and the Federal Government evaded the judgment,” he said.

Responding, Banwat said unionism in the health sector was a very peculiar one because life was involved and appealed that continuous engagement was the best way out of the issue, while confrontation should be the last resort.

He added that President Buhari runs a listening government whose integrity and approach to issues would convince its critics.

He noted that the union had not exhausted all avenues of consultations to warrant an industrial action and urged leaders to give their plan a human face because the health sector was critical to the lives of the people.


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