The President of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Kayode Obembe, has resigned over the controversies surrounding the over five weeks strike which he called off on Thursday in response to the outbreak of the Ebola virus.
Obembe had explained that calling off the strike, which began on July 1, was necessary in view of the situation in the country.
He said, “The health challenges pose by bomb blasts and insurgent attacks are taking much toll on human lives. The recent incursion of Ebola virus requires all proactive and preventive measures to tackle.”
According to him, the government has made positive efforts to address the 24 demands of the association and has issued 10 circulars, Memorandum of Understanding, MoU and letters of authority promising to kick start the payment of relativity and skipping within the next four days.
But the decision to call of the industrial action did not gone down well with some members of the association as a faction of the NMA has vowed not to suspend the strike until the federal government addressed all the demands.
In a statement signed by the first and second President of NMA, Titus Ibekwe and Bartholomew Okorochukwu, as well as the secretary-general, Adewunmi Alayaki; Treasurer, Abubakar Abdulrahman and editor of the Nigerian Medical Journal, NMJ, Francis Uba, the faction said doctors are firm in their demands and as such will continue with the strike until their they are met by the government.
The group said the government was yet to attend to demands of doctors to their satisfaction and thereby insisted that the strike must go on.
However, in view of the controversies the issue was creating, Obembe on Friday tendered his resignation as leader of the association.
In response to the outbreak of the disease, President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday declared a national emergency on Ebola on Friday and urged medical workers and other health professionals to regard the declaration as a patriotic call to duty and service.
The federal government has approved life insurance policy for health workers involved in managing the viral disease. The minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, who announced this a few days ago, explained what this insurance policy means.
“It is life insurance to protect them and their families so that in case anything happens to them, their families will not suffer double loss. So, that is mandatory and the Head of Civil Service of the Federation for all federal workers and all the people we will recruit whether private, state or federal personnel, are going to enjoy this insurance,” the minister said.