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Oyo Nurses, Midwives Declare Strike Continues, No Reversal

04 July

Reported by Ayooluwa Afolabi

Nurses and midwives in Oyo State on Wednesday insisted that their ongoing strike would not be called off until their demands were met by the state government.

Dr Samuel Adeyemi, Chairman of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan, said there was no going back on the industrial action.

The nurses and midwives in the state government-owned hospitals and health centres began an indefinite strike on May 21.

The industrial action has been taking its toll on the patients who daily throng the hospitals with no nurses and midwives to attend to them.

The demands by NANNM include urgent mass recruitment of nurses and midwives and correction of the wrong notional date on the promotion letters of members who were due in 2017/2018.

Others are adoption and implementation of lateral conversion/career progression for the nurses, as it is in other states of the federation.

The association is also demanding payment of withheld 2011 salary arrears which, according to it, had been paid to other workers.

Adeyemi, however, maintained that the indefinite strike would continue until Gov. Seyi Makinde took appropriate action.

“That’s the decision of our congress since there is absolutely none of our agitations met, aside from the advertisement of recruitment of nurses which could be a delay tactic.

“This is like one or two out of the eight items; even the advert has not culminated in employment.

“You can imagine the kind of society we are living. No respect for human life. A strike in the health industry means a lot and will never be allowed in civilized countries.

“But the adverse is the case here. In conclusion, our indefinite strike continues,” Adeyemi said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the State Hospitals Management Board (SHMB), Dr Akin Fagbemi, had said that the key areas in the demands of the striking nurses were issues of recruitment.

Fagbemi recalled that in 2020, the state government recruited health workers in the state and that the board had been given the directive to do replacements if there were vacancies.

He said that an advert had been within the public place to recruit competent hands, including doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and physiotherapists, among others.

The SHMB chairman appealed to the striking nurses and midwives to call off their strike in the interest of the people of the state.

“The recruitment of healthcare workers in the state is a continuous process and before the end of the year, the board will look at the gaps in the hospitals and do the needful,” Mr. Fagbemi said.
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