The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has intervened in the ongoing nationwide strike by members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
Following a meeting between the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, and the leadership of the association.
The spokesperson for the NGF Secretariat, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.
He noted that it was the first time the doctors would seek the governors’ intervention, adding that the NGF governor urged them to call off the strike.
According to Bello-Barkindo, the NARD representatives promised to meet with other executive members of the association and await the action of the NGF on the issues raised.
He added that at the end of the meeting, NARD President reached out to the secretariat that the doctors have agreed to “call off the strike” to allow the governors to address their complaints.
The doctors embarked on the industrial action on Monday but exempted their colleagues working in various coronavirus (COVID-19) isolation and treatment centres across the country, to join them after two weeks.
Among other demands, they asked the government to provide protective equipment for all healthcare workers and immediately reverse the disengagement of all 26 resident doctors at the University Teaching Hospital in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
Read the full statement by Bello-Barkindo below:
It was the very first time that NARD would be putting their grievances before the Forum.
After listening to them, the NGF Chairman reminded the NARD executives of their Hippocratic oath and admonished them to always bring their conscience to the fore “because when you strike, it is not the men in power that suffer but the common man on the streets.”
Dr Fayemi commended them for remaining in the country to serve in spite of the abundant opportunities and lucrative offers that await them abroad.
However, Dr Fayemi also reminded them that government has always invested huge sums of money to train them and it would amount to a disservice to their fatherland to flee the country without giving their services in return.
Dr Fayemi appealed to the NARD to call off the strike promising that the NGF would sit in a week’s time and consider their grievances along with all the other members of the Forum, with a view to finding a lasting solution to those of their problems that are immediately possible for the Forum to tackle.
The doctors, led by their president, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, and their National Secretary Dr Bilkisu, left the NGF Secretariat with a promise to consult the membership of their association to prevail on them to put their faith in the NGF and await the action of the governors on the matter.
It is on that basis that the President reached out to the DG of the NGF this evening as they close the NARD meeting to announce that they are calling off the strike to allow the governors to address their complaints.
Head, Media, and Public Affairs
Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat