Negotiations between the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the federal government ended in a stalemate yesterday as the doctors vowed to continue with the industrial action.
The meeting organised by the House Committee on Health Services was going on smoothly until the issue of allowances was raised.
The minister of state for Health, Olorunibe Mamora, said the issue of allowances was still in court, hence the government could not give a commitment.
In a sharp response, the president of NARD, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, issued a threat warning that the union would not call off the strike if the government continues to frustrate dialogue using the court case.
Okhuaihesuyi, who was obviously vexed with the position of the minister said, “If the government continues to use this case to frustrate this matter, I can assure you that this strike will continue.”
The chairman of the committee, Tanko Sununu, appeared not to be pleased with the statement by NARD’s president and ordered that the statement be withdrawn.
Okhuaihesuyi consequently withdrew the statement but accused the government of lying about the court case.
It would be recalled that the doctors embarked on strike on the 2nd of August, over issues of resident doctors training arrears, minimum wage regularisation and others.
Following the withdrawal of the statement, the chairman of the committee ruled that the ministry of health should provide evidence that there is an ongoing case in court.
Meanwhile, All Progressives Congress (APC) governors have counselled the striking doctors to decentralise their line of negotiations by engaging defaulting state governments to resolve the ongoing nationwide faceoff.
The governors under the auspices of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) at its meeting in Abuja on Sunday noted that most of the grievances of the resident doctors are with state governments.
In a statement he issued yesterday in Abuja, chairman of the forum and Kebbi State governor, Abubakar Bagudu, said the governors also appealed to doctors in federal establishments to negotiate with the relevant structures of the federal government.
Striking Resident Doctors Defy FG’s Resumption Order(Opens in a new browser tab)