Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu
By Steve Dada
After two weeks of boycotting their responsibilities in various Federal Government-owned health institutions across the country, health workers Thursday called off the indefinite strike they embarked upon to drive home their demands for better welfare package.
The striking workers however did not go back to their duty posts without leaving a word for the government to relieve the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, of his position within the 14 days due to what they described as poor handling of the matter.
The umbrella union under the auspices of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), has the following: Medical Health Workers Union (MHWUN), Non-Academic Staff Union of Teaching Hospital, NASU, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Senior Staff Association of Teaching Hospitals and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI), and Nigerian Union of Pharmacists and Medical Scientists and Professionals Allied to Medicine, (NUPMTPAM), as members.
The Acting Chairman of JOHESU, Comrade Felix Faniran, in a telephone conversation with THISDAY said the Ministry of Health had taken the union to court and the strike was called off following an order from the National Industrial Court, stressing that the union agreed to call off the strike for the Industrial Court in Abuja to have a speedy hearing of the case.
Faniran said, “We called off the strike due to the order of the National Industrial Court. This is because Federal Ministry of Health took us to court. So the court now in Abuja pronounced that since the case had been brought to them, they gave the order that we should call off the strike to enable them hear the case and they promised that they will give the case accelerated hearing within the next three months or there about.
“We are hopeful that the court will make a pronouncement on the case as soon as possible.”