Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun and the Nigerian Association of Residents Doctors (NARD) South West Caucus are in conflict arising from the latter’s demand for improved working conditions culminating in their strike action.
Abiodun had expressed disappointment at the doctors’ action and censured them while alleging that they defied all his efforts to ensure they didn’t embark on strike including alleged meeting them several times and entering into agreements.
“This is a development that I find rather disturbing and I consider it a breach of trust. My team met with them on several occasions, where we looked at areas of concern, reached an agreement with them and signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which was not done under duress.
“I subsequently requested to meet with them alongside my health team and at that meeting, reiterated all that had been discussed and agreed on, in addition to the life policy we have put in place, 200 percent hazard allowance. At the meeting, I increased the hazard allowance to 300 percent and mentioned the fact that we needed to dialogue more often,” the governor said.
In a statement jointly signed by the caucus leader, Dr. Oiwoh Sebastine and the Deputy caucus leader, Sanni Taofeek, the resident doctors pushed back at Abiodun’s criticism and disputed his claim that they had an understanding with him.
The statement reads in part: “The Federal Government and other State Governments have since ramped up the needed policies, plans and protocols to properly position our members at a vantage position for victory over this unseen enemy.
“The aggrieved doctors however said surprisingly, owing to the utmost respect our members have for the seat of power in the State, our members had expected that His Excellency the Governor of Ogun State will carefully, holistically and with needed pragmatism look into the demands devoid of any emotional blackmail but the use of unprintable words by the Governor is in the least befitting of and unacceptable from the occupant of that exalted seat.
“While attempting to falsely drag our members into the apparent politicisation of the health of the populace, Mr. Governor went further to misinform the public that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the doctors when such never existed.s
“The South West Caucus of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) consisting all NARD members in Ogun, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states is using this medium to show our solidarity and appreciation to our members in the State for managing to provide necessary health services to the good people of Ogun State despite discouraging working conditions, inadequate facilities, poor remuneration and obvious provocations from the Government.”