NMA bars members from treating political appointees, others in Kogi

By Sulaiman Achema, Lokoja
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has directed its members to stop treating commissioners , special advisers and other categories of political appointees in Kogi until further notice.
State chairman of the NMA, Dr Magnus Ogaraku gave the order at a news conference in Lokoja on Thursday.
He said that the ban also covered the family members and aides of the political appointees.
Ogaraku, who spoke shortly after an emergency meeting of the Executive Steering Committee of the association, also asked doctors in public and private hospitals in the state to immediately comply with the decision.
In addition, the chairman who was assisted by the state Secretary of the NMA, Dr Zubair Kabiru, directed members working in all state-owned hospitals to commence an indefinite strike immediately.
Their counterparts in the Federal Medical Centre will embark on one week sympathy strike from Jan. 30, he said.
He attributed their action to the mass sack of doctors on the payroll of the state government and refusal to pay their salary and allowances as at when due.
According to him, the leadership of the NMA met to review developments and the MoU signed with the government on the issues and discovered that government has failed to keep to its promise.
“The NMA abided by her own side of the MoU by extending the ultimatum by two weeks to allow the state government implement the MoU as signed.
“The Kogi State Government has completely reneged in all aspects of the MoU. The report of the staff screening and verification exercise as released has put doctors in Kogi State in a more miserable situation.
“Several doctors were prematurely sacked, uncleared or declared as ghost workers under very flimsy excuses that are not in conformity with laid down civil service rules,” Ogaraku explained.
The NMA said it had no confidence in the Appeal Screening Committee as composed and will not honour the outcome of its exercise.
“In order to reduce the untold hardship to the innocent patients as a result of the strike action caused by Kogi State Government, Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, and the private clinics shall be available to render services during the period they are not on sympathy strike,” the body stated.
Meanwhile, the state government is yet to react to the action taken by the NMA.

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