Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole,
By Mustapha Yauri
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has cautioned that striking Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) have no constitutional right to harass other health workers not on strike or lock government facilities.
The minister gave the caution in a statement issued by Mr Oshundun Olajide, Deputy Director, Media and Public Relations of the ministry, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Olajide said the minister said this while reacting to a news briefing by the President, National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr Ugochukwu Chinaka.
He noted that the resident doctors accused JOHESU members of harassing and molesting members of NARD and other medical officers at their respective duty posts.
The minister was also informed that JOHESU members were accused of locking-up government health facilities to prevent access to those who are not on strike.
Olajide also quoted the minister as saying that the federal government would not accept nor condone any act of irresponsibility and disobedience to constituted authorities.
The minister also directed that all locked health facilities should be re-opened immediately to enable them provide required services while negotiation continues.
It added that Adewole re-iterated that all heads of medical institutions should urgently provide adequate security for the working members of staff.
It warned that any person found disturbing the peace in any health facility should be made to face the law.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the First Vice President of NARD, Dr Ganiyu Ahmed, had earlier accused JOHESU members of becoming increasingly aggressive towards other health professional particularly doctors, who are not on strike.
Ahmed told newsmen on April 28 that JOHESU members at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Awka, manhandled a resident doctor on duty.