From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
As part of the ongoing efforts to end the over two weeks old strike by the Nigerian Association of Residents Doctors (NARD) the Federal Government, Tuesday, met with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) at the office of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.
Insider information at the Ministry confided that even though the matter is already before the National Industrial Court and has been postponed until September 15, 2021, Ngige has continued making fruitful contacts with all relevant stakeholders to end the doctors’ strike.
The source said the meeting which is ongoing at the time of filing this report has in attendance, the National President of the NMA , Prof. Innocent Uja as well as the NMA Secretary General , Dr. Philips Ekpe. This is the first time Prof. Uja would be attending such a meeting convened at the Ministry.
It remains to be seen whether Prof. Uja who leads the NMA, as the umbrella body of all medical doctors in Nigeria will thaw the ice and convince his junior colleagues in NARD, whom the Federal Government said it has done everything to meet their demands and avert the strike.
Recall that Senator Ngige was said to have reported Senator Uja at the meeting of the Medical Elders Forum last Thursday, August 12, 2021 for not providing leadership to the junior doctors, hence the incessant strikes by NARD, despite the manifest effort of the Federal Government that has substantially met all their demands.
Ngige had earlier in the day, according to the source, held a similar meeting with the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and other relevant stakeholders in both Ministries including Dr. Peter Tarfa and Abdulaziz Abdullahi Permanent Secretaries Ministry of Labour and Employment as well as Health, respectively.