Appeal to your colleagues not Buhari, Aregbesola tells NMA

Rauf Aregbesola, Governor of Osun State

Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the call made by the Nigerian Medical Association to President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress to intervene in the stand-off between striking doctors and the state government is misplaced.

In a statement on Friday, Mr. Aregbesola said NMA should have made the call to its members in Osun, who had abandoned their duty posts for about 11 months now, rather than urging the president to pressure him to accede to the demands of the doctors.

He said the striking doctors created the problem initially by going against the accepted modulated salary regulation applying to over 40, 000 workforce of the state.

He said following that position, the doctors should also be the ones to extricate themselves from the logjam.

The governor said his administration had exhausted all avenues to solve the problems through dialogues and negotiations.

He stated that all moves to resolve the problem amicably were turned down by the doctors, who were being paid their monthly salaries without working up until September 2015.

Mr. Aregbesola noted that the NMA’s appeal was better directed to its Osun State Chapter members rather than the president or the APC.

“The appeal to President Buhari and APC is, to all intents and purposes, misplaced, misdirected and improper in that respect,” Mr. Aregbesola said.

“One would have expected the NMA to properly address the situation by forwarding its appeal to the respected quarters it should go – the Osun striking doctors.

“Since the beginning of the strike nine months ago, government has opened its door for consultations, dialogues and meetings to resolve the matter but all these were frustrated by the doctor, who were still drawing their salaries despite having abandoned their duty.”

The governor stated that the NMA should remind their colleagues of the need to uphold the Hippocratic oaths they swore to, which in essence is to protect lives and not endanger it.

“Whenever the striking doctors tow the path of dignity, sincerity and understanding like other workers in the state, the government is ready to cooperate with them,” he added.

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