- Six days after similar threat by NMA, others
A total shutdown of the health sector is imminent as the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals Association (AHPA) have threatened to commence an indefinite strike in 15 days if the Federal Government fails to address “outstanding welfare issues” of its members.
The unions’ threat is coming barely six days after the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) issued a 21-day ultimatum to the government.
The sector is already facing disruption in services because of the industrial action commenced by the leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors on August 2.
JOHESU, which is the umbrella body for all health workers’ unions and associations, issued the strike notice to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, in a memo dated September 2.
The notice was jointly signed by the National President of Medical and Health Workers’ Union, Biobelemonye Josiah; its Acting Secretary General, Comrade Yusuf A. Kiyawa; the National President, Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), Comrade (Dr.) Ogbonna O.C. and its General Secretary, Comrade Martin Egbanubi.
Others are: National President, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Comrade Michael E. Nnachi and Deputy Gen. Secretary, NANNM, Comrade Nuhu Philip; National President, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Comrade (Dr.) Mako lo Hassan, and NASU General Secretary, Com (Prince) Peters Adeyemi JP.
The notice was also signed by National President, Senior Staff Association of Universities’ Teaching Hospitals Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI), Comrade (Dr.) E. O. Popoola and its Ag. Gen. Sec., Comrade (Dr.) B. A. Akintola and AHPA Executive, Comrade Olumide Akintayo.
Copies of the memo were sent to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Office of the President of the Senate; Speaker of the House of Representatives; the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment; the Director General, Department of State Service; the Inspector General of Police Force; the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum; the President, Nigeria Labour Congress and the President, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria.
In the letter, JOHESU listed some of the welfare issues to include the adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHES), payment of all withheld salaries, review of the implementation of COVID-19 special inducement and hazard allowance, increase in retirement age from 60 to 65 years for health workers and 70 years for consultants.
“Others are payment of reviewed hazard allowance in terms of payment that guarantee fairness and justice to all concerned; payment of actual 30 per cent consolidated basic shift duty allowance to nurses/midwives and others; payment of teaching allowance to members on CONHESS 7 and 8 (nurses, midwives and others) and proper placement of nurse graduates and interns.”
The union also listed other demands to include the payment of outstanding salaries of intern health professionals and proper implementation of the consultant pharmacist cadre for pharmacists in the public sector.
The letter reads: “You will recall that up till the time of writing this letter, the federal government has not deemed it fit to honour the terms of settlement entered into with JOHESU since September 2017.
“This is especially the upward review of CONHESS salary structure as agreed, to be completed within five weeks from the date of agreement amongst other requests.
“Government did not deem it fit to address these key issues during the duration of the last seven days warning strike and has only met with JOHESU on July 12.
“JOHESU, in compliance with the provision of Section 41 of the Trade Disputes Act Cap.T8 LFN 2004, is constrained to give the Federal Government of Nigeria 15 days ultimatum with effect from September 3.
“This also is to inform you that with effect from midnight of September 17, all our members in the federal health institutions shall embark on an indefinite strike action in all state and local government health institutions.
“You are all placed on red alert for the strike if the federal government foot drags in attending to our demands.”
The unions said they had shown patriotism despite the government’s “nonchalant attitude” to the welfare of health workers.
Lai Mohammed insists no proof protesters were killed at Lekki tollgate
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said there is no proof that any protester was killed at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos in October 2020 during the #EndSARS protest.
Some soldiers on October 20, 2020 were said to have opened fire on protesters in an attempt to disperse them allegedly leading to the death of many.
Mohammed, who addressed a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, described the 2020 event at the tollgate as a “phantom massacre”.
“Today marks the first anniversary of the phantom massacre at Lekki tollgate in Lagos, which was the culmination of an otherwise peaceful protest that was later hijacked by hoodlums,” the minister said.
The minister also said, “At earlier press conferences, I had called the reported massacre at the tollgate the first massacre in the world without blood or bodies.
“One year later, and despite ample opportunities for the families of those allegedly killed and those alleging a massacre to present evidence, there has been none: No bodies, no families, no convincing evidence, nothing. Where are the families of those who were reportedly killed at the toll gate? Did they show up at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry? If not, why?”
Adebanjo leads Afenifere chieftains on visit to Tinubu
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has led other chieftains of the body on a visit to national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at his home in Lagos.
Others on the visit are Chief Supo Sonibare, Oba Olaitan Oladipo, and retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Tunji Alapini.
The visit came a few days after Tinubu returned from a medical trip to the United Kingdom where he underwent knee surgery.
The Punch reported that the last time Tinubu and Adebanjo met was in April when the former Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, died.
Prior to the visit, Adebanjo had told PUNCH Online interview programme, The Roundtable, that the reason why Tinubu had been silent on the herdsmen crisis was that he felt President Muhammadu Buhari would make him his successor.
In another interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, Adebanjo stated that Buhari won’t hand over power to Tinubu, adding that they were both deceiving each other.
He said, “I have said it openly before and I would say it again that Buhari is deceiving Tinubu and Tinubu is deceiving Buhari. I’m an old man and I’m a funeral candidate already, so quote me. If Tinubu contests the primary in APC today, he will fail.”
Adebanjo then advised Tinubu and other APC members from the South-West to leave the party in the interest of Yorubaland.
He said, “I have always told them, from Tinubu downwards, that it’s better they save themselves speedily. I’m talking to all of them, that in the interest of Yorubaland and the country, they should get out of the carcass they call APC. I made a public pronouncement that they were a conglomeration of incompatibles. It’s on record. I said it then and I’m still saying it now; if they don’t save themselves early enough, then they are ready for a disaster.”
Kaduna gives civil servants 12-day ultimatum on COVID vaccine
The Kaduna State Government has given all civil servants in the state 12 days to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or be barred from office.
The ultimatum was announced in a statement issued on Tuesday by Muyiwa Adekeye, spokesman for the state governor, Nasir el-Rufai.
According to him, all civil servants are expected to be vaccinated by October 31, after which they would be denied entry into government offices if they failed to comply with the directive.
“The Kaduna State Government will from 31st October 2021 require compliance with COVID-19 protocols, especially facemasks and vaccination, for access to its offices,” the statement said.
“The Ministry of Health has since commenced the vaccination of all civil servants, and this is expected to be completed by 31st October 2021. All civil servants are required to be vaccinated by that date.
“Visitors to government offices will need to present their vaccination cards. Given the limited supply of vaccines that are currently available, visitors that have not yet been vaccinated will, in the interim, be permitted entry upon presentation of evidence of registration with the state Ministry of Health for the purpose of vaccination, while wearing their facemasks.”
Adekeye said the decision was taken following a review by the Kaduna COVID-19 task force, and urged residents to ensure strict adherence to the protocol for preventing the spread of infections.
According to the statement, Amina Mohammed-Baloni, Kaduna commissioner for health, has also asked residents to register at the nearest primary health centres for vaccination “so that the relevant authorities can easily contact them as more Covid-19 vaccines become available”.
The development comes weeks after Edo began its ‘no vaccination, no entry’ campaign, which bars unvaccinated civil servants from entering government offices.
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