By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu yesterday called on striking resident doctors to call off their ongoing strike in the interest of the common man, in view of the devastating global health challenge.
Aliyu described the recent strike action embarked upon by resident doctors in the nation’s capital city as unhealthy for residents of the Territory.
The Minister, who stated this during a dialogue with the leadership of FCT resident doctors, however, called on the striking doctors to call off the strike in the interest of the common man.
Aliyu, while advocating for dialogue in resolving serious issues among health workers and other industrial bodies, also maintained that the FCT Administration has treated matters relating to the health profession with high level of seriousness and urgency.
According to her, “this is not a happy gathering for me. I have to leave the Federal Executive Council meeting to address this issue because of the seriousness the administration attaches to health matters.
“Before you embark on this industrial action, did you consider the oath of this reverend profession in view of the global health challenges? If the dreaded COVID-19 or Coronavirus hits the FCT (God forbids), it will affect all of us including the striking doctors.
“Is there anything your body has requested from the administration and we fail to address? The delay in salary was as a result of migrating from one platform to another which affected all secretariats and departments. You should bear in mind that in every construction or reconstruction, people must make sacrifices.
“To be honest with you, the strike is uncalled for and it is not healthy. We should learn to respect the rights and privileges of others. We should not forget in a hurry that we will still end up on the roundtable to resolve pressing issues”
She, therefore appealed for synergy and proper communication on both side, while calling on the striking doctors to call off the strike based on overriding public interest.
Earlier, the President of FCT Resident Doctors, Dr. Roland Aigbovo, stated that members of the body decided to embark on strike to enable the authorities address salary shortfalls, and skipping arrears.
He however commended the administration for efforts made in the past to resolve the lingering issues amicably, while assuring the minister that the strike will be called off after meeting with other members on Thursday.
Aigbovo, also assured the Minister that House Officers are at work in all the public health facilities across the Territory.