The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, on Saturday urged resident doctors in the country to suspend their industrial strike.
According to him, doing so would prevent needless deaths considering the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic and the outbreak of cholera in some parts of the country.
This was contained in a statement issued by NSCIA’s Director of Administration, Mr Zubairu Usman-Ugwu, in Abuja.
The Sultan of Sokoto stated that the apex Islamic body in the country was worried and concerned about the strike, which he said, had increased the burden of vulnerable Nigerians.
While noting that the industrial action would adversely affect the health system of the country, he also maintained that it would go against the Hippocratic Oath to which members members of the National Association of Resident Doctors subscribed.
“Without prejudice to the legitimacy of the demands of NARD, we urge the association to, in the spirit of the Hippocratic Oath to which members subscribed, and in consideration of the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic and the outbreak of cholera in some parts of the country, suspend the industrial action, while negotiation with the government continues,” he said.
In a similar vein, the monarch also urged the Federal Government to reconsider the moves to jettison further negotiations with the doctors.
According to him, the anger of the government side, no matter its basis, would not ameliorate the suffering of ordinary Nigerians, who fall as helpless victims of the impasse.
“The government, therefore, has to vigorously and sincerely re-engage the leadership of NARD in a manner that would inspire the confidence of the medical doctors in the negotiation.
“The Federal Government also has a duty to coordinate the responses of other tiers of government towards addressing the grievances of the doctors,” he said.
He commended the intervention of the National Assembly and other concerned Nigerians in the matter, and also, advised the Ministers of Health and Labour, Osagie Ehanire and Chris Ngige to intensify negotiations with a view to finding lasting solutions to the fundamental issues raised by the doctors.