From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
NATIONAL Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD), has suspended its proposed strike, scheduled to commence today.
A statement issued by Turaki Hassan, Special Adviser on Media to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said the strike has been suspended for one week to allow the House intervene in the issues between the association and the Federal Government. Dogara met with NARD executives, led by its president Mohammed Askira, at the National Assembly.
The Speaker had assured the doctors that he would personally convene and preside over the meeting between him, the committees on Health Services and Health Institutions and the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole.
Dogara, while explaining the need for his personal intervention on the matter, noted that democracy is centered on promoting the wellbeing of the citizens and appealed to the association to understand that the country is presently going through financial challenges.
He said: “It doesn’t matter what faith you profess, for instance, it is clearly stated in the Holy Bible that a labourer should be paid his wages even before his sweat dries.
“I can sit down with the chairmen of committees, some members of relevant committees, with your good selves and members of the ministry. So, they can bring these issues for us to understand why someone would work for four to eight months and not be paid. What is the problem? And then, we will attempt to address the issues together, and if it doesn’t work, we can’t stop you from venting your anger and expressing your grievances.
“I appeal to you to give us till next week, when, I hope, we will be able to invite them and we will sit down together and iron out the issues.”
Askira had informed the speaker that some members of the association had not been paid their salaries and other entitlements for several months.