Nigeria: Ogun Governor Labels Striking Doctors 'Irresponsible'

Abeokuta — Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has tongue-lashed striking Resident Doctors at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, labelling their action "irresponsible and politically motivated."

But the doctors have fired back, describing the governor's allegation as "untrue."

Daily Trust reports that the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) at OOUTH, Sagamu, had penultimate Friday, announced the commencement of industrial action over the weekend, following the state government's refusal to yield to their agitations for improved welfare package.

Prior to this, the association had embarked on a three-day warning strike, a development that forced the government to a negotiation with the aggrieved doctors.

Our correspondent gathered that the doctors announced the strike action after negotiation between the parties collapsed.

But the state governor, while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta, expressed worry that medical doctors are demanding pay hike despite the effect of COVID-19 on the economy.

Abiodun said the strike was "appalling and breach of trust" considering the fact that the government has interfaced with ARD leadership and "has done everything to meet their demands."

While expressing his disappointment, the governor submitted that the striking doctors "may be politically sponsored."

"I find it difficult to believe that at this time when we're all putting our thinking caps on, trying to figure out what to do and how to do it, any set of people would be irresponsibly requesting for a wage increase.

"And these people are those we entrusted our health too, at a point in time like this. I am sorry, I am very disappointed.

"I am beginning to wonder as being speculated that this may actually have political inclinations.

"I am yet to believe it, but at this point in time, anything is believable.

"If you see people who are educated, who went to medical school and graduated, whose charge is to look after people, which is what should be paramount to them not money ... ," he said.

Governor Abiodun added that his leadership has motivated all doctors by providing them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and increased their hazard allowance by 300 percent.

He warned against politicising health matters, saying; "we will not be subject to anyone's blackmail."

Speaking with Daily Trust, the General Secretary of the association, Dr Osundara Tope, described Abiodun's allegations as untrue, saying "Resident doctors are fighting for their rights."

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