In a country where downing of tools seem to be to only legitimate means of communication, doctors under the auspices of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, have embarked on a five – day warning strike from today.
This is coming a day after the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, suspended its over five-months-old mass action from which the education sector is still yet to recover.
It would be recalled that NMA had given a 21-day ultimatum to the federal government to fulfil a promise it made regarding its welfare which expired last week.
The implication of the action of the doctors is that services in public hospitals across the country would be withdrawn.
The national president of the NMA, Osahon Enabulele, said the the strike is to protest government’s failure to implement a mutual agreement to meet demands in terms of improved wages, funding of healthcare and to resolve issues of discrepancies in salaries.
“We were in a meeting with government officials from 3:00pm Monday evening to 5:00am on Tuesday morning. All we got was the usual promissory note and MoU to stay action till January 6, 2014,” Enabulele told journalists.
He added: “They said most of the parastatals that would attend to our demands would be on break this festive period. This showed that they did not realize the urgency of the matter. Government has been sloppy in its response. NMA would not rescind on its position.”
The strike is expected to last for five days in the first stage, after which the body says it will proceed on a indefinite strike action if its demands remain unattended to.