The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has commenced an indefinite strike despite signing an agreement with the Federal Government.
NARD and Federal Government team led by Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, met on Thursday in an attempt to persuade the doctors to shelve the April 1 strike.
After the meeting that started around 5 pm and lasted till 1:30 am on Thursday, both sides reached an agreement, which culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Action.
President of NARD, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, however, explained the outcome of its meeting with the government must be transmitted to its National Executive Council (NEC) members for further deliberations before any decision to call off the strike or otherwise could be reached.
Okhuaihesuyi, who raised concerns over unfulfilled promises by the government to resident doctors in the past years, insisted due process must be deployed even if the association were to give the government another benefit of the doubt.
He said, “We commenced the strike at 8am this morning. We had a meeting till early hours of this morning and for you to avert a strike you have to call on your NEC members
“They have made promises as usual which we will take back but they have been making promises over a decade ago and most if it has not been fulfilled so we insist on a total and indefinite strike.”
Asked if he was satisfied with the outcome of the marathon meeting with the government, he said, “It’s not about satisfaction, it’s about due process and trying to weigh what has been offered and we have to follow the normal procedure before we call another NEC meeting.”
Ngige, who presided over the conciliatory meeting which led to the MoA, gave assurances that everything contained in the agreement would be implemented.