By Olatunde Odimayo.
Contrary to insinuation making the rounds that the Kogi state chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) are planning to scuttle the move by Kogi State civil service to recruit new doctors, the association has described the information as baseless and unfounded.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Dr Godwin Tijani, and made available to journalists in Lokoja on Monday, NMA noted that they have never directed any doctor not to take appointment with the state as the association is clamoring for more doctors because of the insufficient manpower in the state’s health sector.
He said the NMA only advised the state government on the timing of the exercise and the motives as the recruitment is coming at the critical time when doctors are on strike over non payment of salary and other entitlement.
Dr Tijani dismissed the allegations that the association is being partisan. He added that NMA is cautioning their Hippocratic colleagues, who are coming for the interview, to be ready to make some sacrifices because of what is on ground.
He said; “We have nothing against this government, we want this government to succeed and we have shown tremendous understanding and sacrifice since the inception of the government.
“What we are asking is for is; pay the remaining doctors still being owed their salary, as an injury to one is an injury to all. Many of our members can no longer afford transporting themselves to work and also find it difficult to eat.
“The insinuation that NMA is shifting the goal post on our demands is not true. Our minimum demand since the inception of the struggle was for all doctors to be paid their salary. Issues of skipping, relativity and corrected CONMESS and taxation are ongoing processes and is not the basis for the continuity of the strike.”
The chairman explained that NMA is open to dialogue aimed at solving the current industrial disharmony in the health sector in the interest of the masses.