By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) yesterday lamented that President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to give the union audience despite many attempts made to see him about the frosty industrial relations in the sector.
The President of the union, Josiah Biobelemoye, stated this at the Public lecture to mark the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN); titled: “Industrial Relations in Nigeria Today, Challenges and Prospects,” in Abuja.
He averred that until the president gives audience to the health workers, he will never know the true face of realities in the health sector.
Biebelemoye however, reiterated that, there must be justice and fairness in the health sector for it to enjoy peaceful industrial relations.
The MHWUN further regretted that President Muhammadu Buhari has given audience three times to the members of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), but failed to give the health workers audience even once since he came to power over three years ago.
“The President and Commander In Chief of this country must change the way he handles the issue of health in the country.
“The president cannot give audience 3 times to less than five percent of the people who work in the health sector and when the over 95 per cent of the workers in the health sector are agitating and the President cannot give us audience. When he does that, he will know the truth.
“What we are saying is that justice should be given to us. The president should give us audience.”
He, therefore called on the government to respect collective agreement entered between his group and the government, reiterating that: “ Until the bias stops, the health system cannot work well.
There will be no peace if other professions are seen as more superior than others.”
The health workers, Biobelemoye said, have been working hard to maintain peace in the sector, but however, alleged that, “but this has eluded us because some people have deliberated refused to allow the peace to remain.
“There has been deliberate efforts to cause chaos in the system so that they can use that to advance their own hidden venture of privatization so that they can go back and buy the hospitals for peanuts and deprive the common people of accessing healthcare services.”
Earlier, the Emir of Zazzau, Shehu Idris, called on the government to heed to the demands of the health workers for enduring peace and harmony in the sector.
“I am appealing to the government to heed to any demand that is for the benefit of the health workers.
“The government should learn to resolve issues in a round table. This is because whenever there is industrial harmony, there will be more achievement for the benefit of the people,” he stressed.
The President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Com. Ayuba Waba in his remarks appreciated the union for their contributions to the NLC and the Labour movement in Nigeria.