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Health Workers Shelve Planned Strike



Items distributed during the  launch of  mdgs economic empowerment and conditional cash transfer programme in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: NAN

Items distributed during the launch of mdgs economic empowerment and conditional cash transfer programme in Port Harcourt, recently. Photo: NAN

The National Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) yesterday said it has postponed its earlier plan to commence an indefinite strike on September 30 and October 8 till further notice
Members of NUAHP include Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Medical Laboratory Scientists, Radiographers/Imaging Scientists, Dental Technologists, Occupational Therapists, Health Information Officers, Dental Therapists, Dietitians and Related Professionals.
The union’s position was contained in a memo to all members of its National Administrative Council, National Executive Council, all state council chairmen/Secretaries and all unit branch chairmen/Secretaries entitled: “Postponement of intended strike” with ref. No. NUAHP/NGS/Members/Vol.1/14.
The memo signed by the chairman of NUAHP and Vice Chairman, JOHESU, Mr. Felix Faniran, was made available to newsmen in Abuja.
“The strike notices by both NUAHP and JOHESU which could have taken off on September 30 and October 8, 2014, respectively, have not been suspended but postponed until a meeting called by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for Friday, October 3 2014.
“The meeting where a decision on whether to go on strike or not would be taken was shifted to Thursday, October 9, 2014 at our instance due to Ileya Festival/holidays. By that time, the meeting would have been attended and its outcome assessed by the JOHESU/AHPA leaders; then, a new pronouncement shall be made. Please, wait until further notice.”
The group had, among other demands, condemned the decision of the Federal Ministry of Health that only those registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria could use the designation ‘Consultant’, stressing that “it is not only a ruse, it is false, incorrect, wrong and unacceptable.”
“The Circular of July 18, 2014, issued and signed by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, is improper and unauthorized. The same circular contains paragraph 1.1 which is contradicted by 1.iv. That circular is null and void and highly contemptuous of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria judgment of July 22, 2013 and should therefore be withdrawn immediately in the interest of justice and industrial peace,” Faniran had stressed.
To put an end to crisis in the health sector, NUAHP recommended that government should allow same playing field for all health workers, rather than discriminatory practices.
Faniran had said, “The Nigerian Medical Association and similar unregistered bodies should desist from illegal strikes and learn to comply with laws of the nation and relevant directives; the Yayale Ahmed Committee should conclude its assignment soonest and its report should be implemented immediately; an all-encompassing stakeholders forum should be conveyed under impartial arbiters to solve all existing conflicts in the health sector. Team spirit and team work should be embraced by all health workers and patients’ interest, rather than self interest hound be taken into account at all time.”

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity



Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments



President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari



Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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