We’ll withdraw from negotiation if govt attack, arrest our members, JOHESU warns
By Hassan Zaggi
The striking health workers under the auspices of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) has warned the Ministry of Health to stop instigating the police and other law enforcement agencies into attacking its members who are legitimately monitoring the compliance of the ongoing strike.
The JOHESU President, Josiah Biobelemoye, gave the warning while reacting to the directive the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, gave all heads of medical institutions to, “as a matter of urgency provide adequate security for the working members of staff and any person found disturbing the peace in any health facility should be made to face the law.”
Responding to an enquiry by The AUTHORITY, the JOHESU President said: “If the police is used to attack our members for discharging their legitimate functions of monitoring the strike or local picketing, we shall withdraw from the negotiations current going on and summon an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to respond appropriately.”
It would be recalled that in a strongly worded statement, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, on Tuesday said he had received reports in which members of JOHESU were allegedly of harassing and molesting members of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and other medical officers at their respective duty posts.
The Minister also said that he gotten reports that JOHESU members were accused of locking- up government health facilities to prevent access to those who are not on strike.
He, therefore, warned that: “In as much as members of JOHESU have the right to embark on strike, they do not have the constitutional right to harass other health workers including members of JOHESU who choosed to work and JOHESU members DO NOT have right to lock-up government facilities.”
The Minister further insisted that the Federal Government would not accept nor condone any act of irresponsibility and disobedience to constituted authorities, adding that all locked health facilities should be opened immediately to enable the facilities provide required services while negotiation continues.
Adewole therefore, directed that all heads of medical institutions should, as a matter of urgency, provide adequate security for the working members of staff and any person found disturbing the peace in any health facility should be made to face the law.