First, it was the barring of universalreporters247.com reporter from the Government House by the Governor’s Special Adviser on media and publicity, Ahmed Tukur without giving any reason for that, as if that was not enough, the few days again, our reporter was invited by Department of State Security, DSS in Lafia over a story that was not published by Universal Reporters.
However, setting the record straight, Universal Reporters and our Reporter Rabiu Omaku Has No Link With NMA Report Title: “Uncovered: NMA Strike Called Off, NSG Spends N10,000,000 To Cajole Doctors By Mohammed Al-Ishaq published by Nasarawa Mirror an online blog based in Nasarawa and dated 1st September, 2016.
But it is surprising to say that we are at Universal Reporters are still at loss, as to why the above report which was not published by Universal Reporters as well as have no link with us, will be the reason why our reporter will be invited by the DSS, is surprising.
There is an adage that said “a good press is a nation speaking to itself,” with this we have to say we have always balanced our story, for any story that concerns Nasarawa Government, and even its subsidiaries, before we go to the press, we have always brought fairness, objectivity and balance in it, but with the recent onslaught against Universal Reporters, we shall always shall remain firm in the discharge of our responsibility.
Our watchword is to report the way it is especially this now that President Muhammadu Buhari is soliciting for the support of Journalists to effect total and effective change through fighting the dreaded headed monster called corruption.
The core values of Journalism is to fight injustice, the oppressed by checkmating those at the behest of affairs, there is the need for those at the corridors of power to have good shock observer by welcoming constructive criticisms at all times.
A sitting government must march word with actions by fulfilling her policy statements at all times.
The present Nasarawa Government came into office also with the effort of the media, in which the publisher of Universal Reporters was among those that contributed its own part in ensuring that it happened.
Moreso, Universal Reporters would like to put the record straight that the controversial report caused for the invitation of our reporter to the DSS office in Lafia has nothing to do with our online news platform and the government of Nasarawa state should not hold us responsible that, we don’t know where it came from, we are not in any way connected to Nasarawa Mirror and we do not have any link with them.
See The Said Report published by Nasarawa Mirror Reproduced Below:
Uncovered: NMA Strike Called Off, NSG Spends N10,000,000 To Cajole Doctors By Mohammed Al-Ishaq ******
At last the Nigerian Medical Association, Nasarawa State branch has suspended its over 3months old industrial strike which they described as unfortunate following the inability of the Al-Makura-led administration to honored earlier agreement reached.
The decision to suspend the indefinite strike followed after a secret meeting and agreement reached with the Governor in his Abuja’s residence. The strike was suspended on Tuesday 30th August after which the Medical Doctors resumed work today being Thursday 1st September, 2016.
In the meeting which was facilitated by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Daniel Iya, government has accepted to implement all the demands including arrears amounting to N800,000,000 accumulated over the period of 3years.
However, considering the governor’s penchant for betraying trust (agreement), it cost the state government a whopping sum of N10,000,000+ to cajoled some bigwigs in NMA through an aide of the governor to mobilize willing members and suspend the strike, n-Mirror understands from Govt. House source.
According to the source, Dr Azige Ayele who is the President, All Resident Doctors in the state was given N1,500,000 for the mobilization of willing members, in addition to the N300,000 as support by the state government for the preparation of his forthcoming wedding.
Meanwhile, members who opposed the suspension fears the governor may not keep to his promise as he has done severally in the past. To placate them, the association decided to suspend the strike action for a period of 8weeks, which if government failed to implement the agreement within this period, NMA shall proceeds on an indefinite strike from 26th October, 2016 without recourse to a congress meeting of the association.
An aide to the governor who is a medical doctor was given N7,700,000 to settle Medical Elders for the suspension of the strike action which he claims to have shared it accordingly before the meeting with the Governor in his residence in the FCT; one Dr Buhari received N1,000,000 to mobilize some indigenous doctors, we gathered.
Also in the list of recipients is a former Chairman of the Association from FMC who government tried to use to installed a Chairman about 6weeks ago but loss at the poll. He was given an undisclosed amount of money and promised a board membership at the state level. Our source further confirmed that an Elder of NMA who played a pivotal role was promised CMD of FMC Keffi.
In addition, Dr Azige Ayele who is a younger brother to the Director of Labor and Housing in the office of the Head of Civil Service was made a promise that his elder brother would be made Permanent Secretary, our investigations revealed.
With these open betrayal by few of their colleagues, some Doctors working with Nasarawa State Hospitals Management Board across the state expressed their disappointments, prayed it don’t affect the overall struggle of the association in the long run, which to them is to ensure the provision of smooth, efficient and effective healthcare delivery system in the state.
Similarly, Federations of Trade Unions in a meeting mediated by Minister of Labor and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige in Abuja has also called on the state government to honor NMA’s agreement. This was contained in a drafted statement after an extensive deliberations.
Though the meeting was unable to resolve the issues in contention conclusively as it deferred further discussion to a later date, but it was concluded as follows:
- Bearing in mind the various sacrifices made by the workers and employees in a bid to sustain Nasarawa State Government in the times of Economic Recession, the federations of trade union justified its demands for the sustenance of its members.
- That the agreement reached between the Medical Doctors and the governor should be implemented.
iii. That the compensation to be paid by the Nasarawa State Government should extend to training of the children and family members of the deceased workers. Also, the injured should be compensated and their medical bills be paid by the State Government of Nasarawa.
- That the “no work no pay” law shouldn’t be applied. Therefore, the July and August 2016 salaries should be paid in full in accordance to the spirit of “No Victor No Vanquished”; and for a better working relationship between both partners.
- That the ongoing strike in Nasarawa State would be called off, on the fulfillment of the above demands made by the federations of Trade Unions.
Based on the need for further consultations, especially on “No Work No Pay” law and the manner and mode of payment of July and August 2016 salaries, the meeting was adjourned to any convenient date proposed by the Honorable Minister of Labor and Employment.
Speaking during the meeting, NLC President, Comr. Ayuba Wabba reminded the state government that employment is a contract where both employers and employees have their rights.
“It was unfortunate that the state government allowed the crisis to escalate. NLC and TUC tried to nip the crisis in the bud without success. All of us must therefore subject ourselves to the rules and regulations. It is a dispute of rights not of interest.
“The issues border on remuneration and other labour issues. We pledged that the Organized Labour will cooperate. We are committed to due process and the laws,” he said.