By Ndidi Chukwu
The Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) has suspended its long protracted nationwide strike it started 2014 after meeting with President Jonathan, and has called its members to go back to work, from Tuesday 3rd February. The Union leadership agreed to suspend the strike after its meeting by 2 pm on Sunday 1st February 2015 with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who had to intervene to resolve the issues.
In a joint press conference by top officials of the Federal Ministry of Health and JOHESU leaders, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, JOHESU President said, issues have been reviewed with the president, and he (Jonathan) gave his mandate to the FMoH, to review the demands of members of the union, and present to him,
“he made commitment in the interest of the masses, that he being passionate about the health care of the masses will do everything possible to see that our demands are met, for the benefit of Nigerians” Wabba said
While calling on its members to commence work Tuesday 3rd February, Wabba said “the president pleaded with us to resume work having considered our demands and has promised to resolve the crisis in the health sector by ensuring that no profession within the health sector is marginalized”
Based on the outcome of the meeting, Wabba said “We have called off the strike, considering the many intervention by many stakeholders in the struggle and all the constructive appeals by so many well-meaning Nigerians, the strike took time and we apologize to the general public for all challenges faced during the time and patience, we promise to go back to give our best as the strike stands suspended”
“we have respected all the rule, we have our time line and if commitment has been made by the president as the highest authority we have to comply and we don’t have to pre-empt possible disappointment from Mr President, we are a credible union regulated and accountable by law” Wabba noted in hopes that Mr. President will keep to his promise in good time.
Reacting to JOHESU, Supervising Minister of Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan urged Chief Medical Directors of all hospitals to desist from any form of “intimidation” of any health worker, as he thanked the President for his intervention which has ended the strike.
“Mr. President’s intervention is really appreciated this over two months old strike, every misunderstanding can been resolved through dialogue and we can reach amicable resolution, we are grateful to JOHESU, for being patience with us too” said the Minister
“Everything we do is to the interest of the people, we urge you to bring every other members together and we have to work as a team to protect the interest of Nigerian even at this time the Ebola scourge is on, we beg you as you go back to your job to work seriously as a team with other professions” Alhassan pleaded with the Union
“The victimisation of some health workers, complained about by JOHESU has to be addressed and we urge all CMDs to accommodate them, there should be unity in the various health institutions. We have to encourage unity at all time” he said