The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has censured the Federal Government over the sack of 16, 000 resident doctors following the nationwide doctors’ strike.
The FG, through a press release by the Federal Ministry of Health, said it has to do so after exploring all avenues to end the strike, which it said has compounded the health crisis in the country.
The resident doctors were unceremoniously relieved of their jobs after the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, on Wednesday, issued a directive terminating the residency training programme for doctors in the country until further notice.
Reacting to the news on behalf of the Coalition, its Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, described the sack as unfortunate.
He said, “The sack of the 16, 000 resident doctors is so unfortunate. Our fear that the present crop of government in the country does not have respect for the fundamental rights of its citizens has been confirmed by this doctors’ sack. Is this a new technique for settling labour dispute in a democratic society? We consider it as an act of stupidity for any government to lay-off striking workers. It depicts that such government does not have respect for the fundamental rights of its employees. All over the world, workers fight for their rights: it is a legitimate action for workers to coerce their employers into doing their wish, and Nigerian government case should not be different.
The government ought to have resolved the impasse before it degenerated into this. It is not done anywhere in the world, you sacked doctors in their droves. Is the FG going to replace them with fresh and inexperienced doctors that are not used to the terrain? That is sadism. It means the government does not consider the health of the Nigerians important, because if they do, they would have come down from their high horse to resolve the crisis in the country’s health sector.”
The human rights activist however urged the FG to address the issue of the doctors’ strike and the attending resident doctors’ sack before it goes out of hand.
“We opine that the most reasonable step for the Nigerian government is to go back to the negotiating table, because the lose-lose war they are fighting would not benefit them and the helpless Nigerians. We want to submit that Civil Society Organisations would collaborate to fight on the side of the people as far as the battle against the Nigerian doctors is concerned, and by the time the battle starts, it would be difficult to end. Those who have done it in the past regretted their action, and this case will not be different”, Adeniran stated.