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Health workers begin nationwide strike

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By: Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

The leadership of health workers under the umbrella of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has said it would proceed with its planned strike following inability of the Federal Government to meet its demands.

JOHESU urged its members to withdraw services from midnight of Sunday, September 13, 2020.

The union said it took the decision after its expanded National Executive Council, which took place on Sunday.

The Federal Government, at a conciliatory meeting brokered by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Thursday had announced that it had an agreement with the unions.

JOHESU leaders, at the end of the meeting which had Minister of State, Labour, Festus Keyamo (SAN); Minister of State, Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora; JOHESU Chairman, Biobelemoye Josiah, and other officials in attendance, were given Saturday 12, September 2020 to report back to the government team.

In a memo on Sunday, JOHESU stated the unions unanimously agreed that since nothing concrete was achieved at the conciliatory meeting with the Federal Government last week, the strike notice was still germane and alive.

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The memo sent to Ngige, was signed by the President, Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Biobelemoye Joy Josiah; Secretary-General MHWUN, Dr. Silas Adamu; President, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Abdulrafiu Adeniji; General- Secretary-General NANNM, Thomas Shettima; and President Nigerian Union of Alied Health Professionals NUAtP), Com. Hassan Makolo.

Others are: President of Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes, Dr. Benjamin Akintola; General Secretary, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Com. Peter Adeyemi, among others.

It reads: “You would recall that at the end of the meeting held in your office on Thursday September 10 2020, JOHESU demanded that the outcome of the meeting between JOHESU and the Federal Government be reported back to our expanded NEC meeting and give a feed back to the Federal government within 48 hours.

“In the light of the above, the meeting of our expanded NEC was held Saturday 12 September, 2020. And at the end of the meeting, which was held both physically and virtually, it was unanimously agreed that since nothing concrete was achieved at the said meeting with the Federal Government, that the strike notice is still germane and alive.

“Therefore, the 15-day ultimatum still subsists and with effect from midnight of Sunday, 13th September, 2020 our members shall withdraw their services due to Federal Government’s inability to meet their demands.”

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