A few weeks ago, Labour bodies under the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) reached an agreement with the federal government regarding the removal of fuel subsidy and just a few days ago, it was reported that Oyo State was grounded as a result of an indefinite strike embarked upon by civil servants in the state.
Also, government workers in Ekiti State have remained at home for about two weeks over non-payment of five months outstanding salaries. Now, the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) have announced the commencement of a nationwide strike tomorrow, Thursday, June 9.
Is Nigeria shutting down?
Dr Muhammad Askira, president of the body of resident doctors, made this known to journalists in Kano, on Tuesday, June 7, saying that the decision to embark on a nationwide strike was taken at the ordinary general meeting of the National Executive Council of the association held in Jos, the Plateau State capital, between May 30 and June 5. The Association President said:
“Sixteen out of 58 federal tertiary institutions or centres were exempted from the initial centre based strike for the commitment of the chief medical director of the hospitals to implement the federal government’s directives.
“If by midnight on Sunday, June 19, our demands are not met, all the members of the association, including those exempted, would join the indefinite nationwide strike”.
Mr. Askira explained that the association considers it highly important to take “the painful decision”due to the inability of the government to meet its demands. He added:
“Due to the failure of the government to address the demands of NARD, it has declared a total and indefinite strike.
“NARD has to take this painful decision in order to highlight the plight of our hardworking members who have had to endure a long period of deprivation and disenfranchisement”.
He also made it known that the association would continue to be open to discussion and ready to partner with the government to ensure effective health care service delivery to Nigerians.
The issue of unpaid salaries has become so serious that hunger and starvation forced a teacher in Ekiti State to steal a pot of Amala (yam flour meal) from her neighbour’s kitchen in order to feed herself and her children.