Lagos State doctors under the auspices of Medical Guild and the Association of Resident Doctors Lagos State University Teaching Hospital Branch (LASUTH-ARD) yesterday resumed their suspended 14 weeks old strike.
The decision to resume the strike was unanimously voted for shortly after a congress of the striking doctors in Lagos, Friday.
In swift reaction to the development, the elders of the medical profession under the aegis of Elders Forum condemned the resumption of the suspended strike by the doctors, saying “their actions are unethical, faceless and unbecoming of thorough – bred medical professionals who are purely opportunists and blackmailers.”
Briefing journalists on the commencement of the strike, shortly after the congress, the president of the Medical Guild, Dr. Saheed Babajide, said the decision of the doctors to resume the suspended strike was borne out of dissatisfaction occasioned by government’s insensitivity and failure to honour its promise as contained in the agreement reached with the doctors in November 2010.
Out of 176 doctors in attendance, 143 voted in support of the strike action and 27 voted against, while 16 abstained from voting.
Justifying their reasons for the strike action, the president said the guild had done its part to ensure peace only for the government to renege on its promise.
The Elders Forum at a separate press conference tagged, “One strike too many”. yesterday in Lagos, alleged that the young doctors have reduced the ethics of the medical profession to nothing and vowed to stop them this time.
The Forum said, “The time has come for us the elders of the profession to speak out. We can no longer allow these junior doctors to bring to nothing our dearly oath to protect and care for our patients. It is a sober moment but we have to rise up to the occasion and save our profession. Unfortunately, majority of patients are poor Nigerians who cannot afford to fly out of this country for medical treatment.
We will take it up with them. It is time to stop incessant strikes in the state.” Fielding questions from journalists, the spokesperson of the group, Dr. Ore Falomo, declared the strike as illegal, just as he alleged that there was no prior notice to their employer before going back to the strike, against labour laws of a week or two weeks notice to the employer.
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, announced a new salary package for the state civil servants.
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mr. Jide Sanwo-Olu, who was flanked by the state Head of Service, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe and the Special Assistant to the governor on media, Mr. Akeem Bello at a press briefing at the Bagualda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.
Sanwo-Olu said: “The decision to increase the Lagos State civil servant salary was arrived at the special Executive Council’s meeting completed some minutes past 7p.m.
He did not reveal the details of the new structure but promised to announce the details next week.
According to him, “the civil servants affected include teaching and non-teaching staff, core civil service profession, medical , dental and other health workers in the state.”
He added that all necessary recommendations had been taken care of in the new salary structure.
Sanwoo-olu emphasised: “The new package will take effect as agreed upon with all the various unions from the first of January 2011. What this means is that in tandem with the 2011 budget approval. We will also be doing a one month arrears of this package.”
The father of Mr. Mukthar Aminu, who was reportedly imprisoned for allegedly defaming Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, on Facebook, has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party for the Action Congress of Nigeria.
Mukhtar’s father, Ibrahim, has also threatened to sue the governor over his son’s arrest and detention, according to a report on the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation monitored in Kaduna on Thursday.
Without doubt,people have grossly abused the facelessness of the internet, but imprisonment over facebook comments? Hmmmmm......
The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday said it had registered about 54.9 million people as at January 31.
It said in a statement in Abuja that it projected that 62 million Nigerians would be registered by the close of the exercise on Saturday (tomorrow). The exercise started on January 15.
The statement by Mr. Kayode Idowu, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, was made available to journalists on Thursday just as policemen in Oyo State found Direct Data Capturing machines in a forest close to a predominantly Fulani settlement in Saki West Local Government Area.
INEC, however, explained that daily nationwide average had “lowered to 3.2 million as against about 4.3 million per day earlier recorded.”
It said that it expected that the daily average would decline even further as more people get registered.
Idowu had earlier on Thursday told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that the additional N6.6bn needed for the extended period (seven days) of the voter registration was part of the N87bn budget meant for the entire exercise.
INEC had on January 26 requested the extra vote to complete the exercise. But Idowu dismissed insinuations that the N6.6bn request was in addition to the N87bn already received by the electoral body.
“The money that was budgeted earlier on, much of it was for capital projects. By budgeting procedures, if there is any recurrent expenditure, you have to appropriate fresh money for it regardless of what you have left in your capital vote,” he said.
Idowu added that the budgeting procedure did not allow for the spending of funds earmarked for capital projects.
The INEC chairman’s spokesman also said the commission would pay additional N14,000 to each corps member participating as ad-hoc staff in the exercise.
On Friday, January 28, Moyosore Oluwa clocked 3 years and invited a few friends to celebrate with him. the fun-loving Big Boy enjoyed himself and wished the day would never end. Please enjoy some photos from the event: