Doctors’ sack: ACN backs Lagos State Government, slams petulant doctors

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The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said the Lagos state
government acted responsibly and
in accordance with the state’s Civil/Public service rules in sacking
the striking doctors in its employment.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity
Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,
the party also accused the petulant doctors of flouting industrial
laws by declaring the strike that led to their
sack without issuing the necessary notice to their employers.


It said they were also guilty of serious misconduct by refusing to
answer the queries issued to them to
explain their Absence Without Leave from work, adding that the
consequences of their action are clearly
spelt out in the Civil Service Rules, and that no responsible employer
will condone such egregious action
from its employees.

”We have waited this long to comment on this issue because we were
studying all the details of the
situation that led to the strike and the sack. Having concluded our
painstaking investigation, we can say
without equivocation that the government acted responsibly and in
accordance with the necessary rules
and regulations.

”Contrary to the misinformation being peddled by some mischievous
individuals and groups, the strike
that led to the doctors’ strike has nothing to do with their
conditions of service, but is related to the desire
of a group that wants to continue to hold the government and the
people to ransom through incessant strikes
over every frivolous issue.

”We say this because the Lagos state government has met all the
demands of the doctors during their earlier stike:
payment of the so-called Consolidated Medical Salary Structure
(CONMESS) which has been accommodated in
the approved salary structures for the state, even when the federal
government that negotiated it did not consult the
state government; reinstatement of Dr. Ibrahim Olaifa and the
reactivation of the deduction and remittance of the
check-off dues to the Medical Guild. Complaints on high taxation
cannot be handled by the state government because
taxation is a federal government issue.

”The latest strike by the doctors is based on totally new and
unreasonable demands by the doctors, who are asking the
state government to pay them far in excess of what was contained in
CONMESS! This in a state where, unknown to many,
some consultants are already earning more than 800,000 naira a month!

”It is on the basis of this totally new and unrealistic demands that
the the doctors gave a mere 24-hour notice to embark on an
three-day warning strike, and gave no notice at all to embark on their
now ill-fated indefinite strike, without worrying about
the impact of ther action on the public.

”In order words, there is nothing altruistic about the doctors’
strike. It is all about them and them alone. They do not care
whether or not the state government can meet overhead or development
costs, or whether the hospitals where they work
can even be adequately eqipped. What matters is for the ever-elastic
demands of the seemingly-insatiable doctors to be
met once they are issued. This is unrealistic and untenable, and the
doctors must be told in clear terms,” ACN said.

The party said it is cheap and uncharitable for the PDP to try to cash
in on a serious issue by using such term as ‘fascist’
to describe the doctors’ sack, and challenged the party to say how
much the PDP states pay the doctors in their
employ and how many doctors each of them has employed.

”There is no need to politicise the issues on ground, because
innocent Nigerians, irrespective of their party affiliation,
suffer greatly, with some even losing their lives, every time doctors
fling away their stethoscopes in the name of a strike.
What is expected is for every responsible citizen and group to prevail
on the doctors, who have been so remunerated, to
always consider their impact of their incessant strikes on their
patients,” it said.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary
Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)
Lagos, May 13th 2012

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