DOCTORS’ STRIKE: SPN CONDEMNS SACK THREAT
SPN CALLS ON FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO MEET DOCTORS DEMANDS IMMEDIATELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY
1. The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) hereby condemns in its entirety the implied threat by the Federal Government to sack members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) who decided to embark on strike action to protest against unpaid allowances, lack of provision of PPEs, etc.
2. Although the government claimed that the allowances in dispute have been paid, the Doctors have maintained that this is not the case. In such a situation, a responsible government would have entered negotiations with the Doctors or get to the root of why the payments have not been made instead of resorting to jackboot approaches reminiscent of military dictatorship.
3. The fact that cannot now be denied is that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the utter neglect of the health sector, not just in term of lack of functional facilities but insensitive neglect of the welfare of health workers and professionals.
4. Whereas it has become the past time under this government for the executive arm and legislators at all levels to purchase expensive vehicles or appropriate billions of Naira for phantom renovations, it has been very difficult for it to meet the demands of the Doctors who given the efforts they have put into fighting Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria should by now be enjoying special allowances. This was why we had earlier demanded that all health workers and professionals should be paid at least an N100,000 special monthly hazard allowance, full life insurance and improved working conditions.
5. We urge the striking doctors not to be intimidated. Rather they should defy this unjust directive of the health minister. All NARD members must now stand firm with their association. We also call on NARD to establish a strike enforcement committee made up of active members, trade unionists, socialists and activists to go round public hospitals to ensure compliance with the strike. This must now be supplemented by an offensive strategy of socially-distanced mass rallies, leafleting, street demonstrations and protest to expose the government and mobilise the public against it.
6. We call on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), United Labour Congress (ULC), the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), other health unions and the wider labour movement to support the doctors’ strike and be prepared for solidarity actions to oppose any attempt to coerce them into submission.
Abiodun Bamigboye Chinedu Bosah
Acting National Chairperson National Secretary