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Health Workers Threaten Solidarity Strike

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By Timothy Akintola

Medical workers are standing in affinity with ASUU, promises strike.

The Federal Government has been complacent about the educational sector and the ongoing strike suffices as poignant evidence. Federal universities have been on a nationwide strike for five months and meetings between the Academic Staff Union of Universities have continuously hit rock bottom, leaving students as the collateral damage of their complacencies. This strike is a result of the mode of payment for university lecturers and while students continue to hope the issue is salvageable, the government has shown no positive changes towards adhering to the directive of the union.

The ongoing strike has crippled the dreams of numerous students and while there have been continuous promises from the government, striking an agreement with the Academic Union has been really grueling. The Federal Government, represented by Mr. Goodluck Opiah, the minister for state of Education once noted that the government was concerned about the situation and was willing to take every possible step towards salvaging the situation. However, the Buhari-led government have failed at this promise.

The Medical and Health Union Criticizes Government for its Complacency.

Not only the Academic Staff Union of Universities, but also the Non-Academic Staff Union, Staff Union of University Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions have also embarked on nationwide strikes, in a bid to make their demands known to the government. These demands include implementing the memorandum of actions, as signed in December 2020, renegotiation of their agreement with the Federal Government in 2009, unpaid allowances to staff and the neglect of unpaid minimum wages.

The government’s failure at salvaging the not-ending academic strike across federal universities in the country has caused the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) to place all of its state workers on standby. This is in a bid to declare their solidarity with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for the ongoing union’s strike. The Medical and Health Union have criticized the Federal Government over its complacency in regards to meeting the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), declaring that they will not hesitate to also declare a strike.

The government’s lackadaisical response is a motion without movement.

In a released statement, signed by the national president of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Biobelemoye Josiah and Auwala Kiwaya, the acting secretary-general, the Union posited that the responses of the government to the demands of these academic unions have been immensely disheartening. Illustrating it to be one of a “motion without movement”. The lackadaisical actions and inactions of the Federal Government continues to defer the dreams of numerous young Nigerians who are now trapped within a complacent system.

In this statement, the union further asserted that it was the immense irresponsibility on the part of the government to see to an indefinite closure of tertiary institutions due to the staff demanding for better funding for these institutions and a better welfare for teaching, adding that it is only important for the Federal Government to meet the demands of these unions. The medical union projected their displeasure at the government’s inaction, noting that their worry over this development because while the academic future of many youths are being deferred, the political heads have their children studying abroad, without any form of deferment.

The negative impact of this strike on students’ future can not be quantified.

The union further asserted that the negative impact of this indefinite strike on the students’ future can absolutely not be quantified, and thus called on the general masses to help in protecting the future of numerous youths trapped within a lethargic system by calling on the government to swiftly implement the demands of the academic unions. Also, Mohammed Ibrahim, the national president of SSANU urged the academic union to be resolute in demanding for an improved ambience for learning.

Related link

ASUU: Website

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