Despite arguments by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, that they broke the law, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has insisted it won’t call off its strike action.
The doctors’ stand led to its meeting with the Federal Government on Wednesday ending in a deadlock.
Ngige, who convened the meeting, had referred to the doctors as law breakers for embarking on the strike while the Federal Government was already in a conciliation move.
The minister had therefore during the meeting with the angry doctors tried to persuade them to call off the strike but to no avail as the doctors maintained that unless they received alerts of the unpaid salaries, they would not suspend the strike.
The meeting which started Wednesday afternoon between the government team and few officials of NARD is said to have ended early hours of Thursday with leaders of Resident Doctors intermittently storming out of the venue of the meeting to consult with the members on the position of the government.
After the negotiation failed to yield expected result as at 12 30 am, the parties collectively accepted that the nationwide industrial action should be suspended immediately the payment alert is received from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) today as promised by the Federal Government’s team.
One of the angry Resident Doctors who refused to give in to all appeal from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation said, “Until we receive alerts we are not going to call off the strike. I don’t have any trust in the government. I trekked over 1000 kilometers during the elections despite the Boko Haram attack in Maiduguri to vote for President Buhari.
“Buhari went to London for treatment and he paid the doctors there but he does not want to pay us. We are not going to call off the strike until we get alerts. In fact, it is the government that is prolonging the strike”, he offered.
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