The President of the Association of Resident Doctors at the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Akanimo Ebong, has stated that strike is the only language the federal government understands.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Ebong pointed out that the Muhammadu Buhari-led government only negotiates when health workers embark on strike.
Recall that doctors on Sunday announced that they would be embarking on an indefinite industrial action starting from today Monday.
They had embarked on an earlier strike in April, which was suspended 10 days later after they met with Federal Government representatives.
In a statement to newsmen, President of the NARD, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, had accused the Federal Government of failing to honour and implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with them after over 100 days.
The doctors had demanded immediate withdrawal of the circular removing House Officers from the scheme of service, which was not implemented.
He said: “The NEC noted the suspension of the total indefinite strike action One Hundred and Thirteen (113) days ago due to Government promises as entailed in the Memorandum of Actions (MOA) signed at the instance of the Minister of Labour, Sen. Dr Chris Ngige.
“The NEC also noted the efforts of the Hon Speaker of the House of Representatives in ensuring that the Medical Residency Training Funds is captured in the supplementary budget. They however frowned at the delay by the Federal Government in disbursing the funds to our members.
“They decried the undue hardship our members on GIFMIS platform are facing due to the delays in payment of their salaries ranging from three to seven months.”
Ebong, who is also the Senior Registrar at the hospital’s Department of Obstetrics And Gynaecology, said only a little progress was made since then the strike was suspended in April.
“Usually, there is no negotiation done, until we go on a strike,” he said.
He added, “We have resumed our strike today. We never called it off, we only suspended it to give time for negotiations.
“But since we called off the strike on April 10, barely anything has been done.
“When we are back at it, you know we have given a lot of time; we have tried to negotiate, we have tried to make the system work. But unfortunately, we are here again.”