Group to FG: Prevent ASUU’s looming strike, answer doctors
By Peter Usman://
Disturbed by frequent industrial actions by various professional bodies in the country, especially in the health and education sectors, the Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria, MMWG, has called on the federal government to immediately halt the current strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD and also prevent the impending one by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU by ensuring that all areas of disagreements are tackled promptly.
Chances of an amicable resolution of the dispute between striking doctors and the federal government took a hit at the weekend as both sides stuck to their positions, trading accusations.
While the government insisted there’s no basis for the strike started last Monday and asked for immediate end to it, the doctors wanted their demands and agreement met before calling it off.
But MMWG, in a statement jointly signed and released yesterday by its National Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi and National Secretary, Dr. Nasir Balogun, said the people of the country need not suffer again from preventable industrial actions.
The group particularly charged the leaders to “dedicate themselves anew to the cause of serving God and humanity by ensuring that all agreements made are honoured to prevent industrial disputes”, adding that they should listen and adhere strictly to the admonitions of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar on the recurring logjams for a better Nigeria.
It condemned a statement credited to the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige wherein he allegedly threatened that the government would not pay the doctors for the period of strike, saying that the minister was insensitive to the plight of innocent hospital patients and therefore should be condemned.
“The grand-standing and recalcitrant nature of the minister cannot solve the problem, rather persuasive and mutual respect for each other by doing what is right promptly could resolve the matter.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow anyone to mess the federal government by arresting the ‘combatant posture’ of the Labour Minister who in spite of being a medical doctor looked too combative in a recent Channels TV interview on the on-going strike actions by the young doctors who constitute more than 70% of the doctors in the public health sector,” it stated.
MMWG also called on all Nigerians, irrespective of their religious and tribal differences to “serve the nation devotedly and holistically by commending their leaders where commendable and criticising them objectively to make the nation better.”