Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has tackled the Federal Government for tagging its five-day warning strike as illegal.
The strike began at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 17, and would last until Monday, May 22.
NARD National President, Emeka Orji, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, asked the Federal Government to point out the part of the law that makes the strike illegal.
“I believe that there is no law that says that a warning strike is illegal. If they say a warning strike is illegal, let them prove it to us. We want to see the part of the law that says that a warning strike is illegal,” he said.
Orji indicated that the association had satisfied all the provisions before embarking on a strike, adding that the National Executive Council (NEC) has given the association the mandate to proceed on a warning strike.
“If they resolve all these, we won’t come here and be talking about whether it is NMA or NARD or any other affiliate that should take up these points to the government. These issues are germane, and we want to appeal again that we are open to discussion.
“If they call us to discuss and address these issues, we believe many of them can be addressed in a matter of days and there won’t be a need for all these crises we are having in the health sector,” he said.
On April 29, 2023, NARD issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to commence the implementation of all pending agreements or the doctors will embark on a nationwide strike.
Amongst other demands, the resident doctors want an immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) salary structure to the tune of 200 percent of the current gross salary of doctors.
The government had described the demand of the doctors as ridiculous but the NARD president said the 25% increment offered by the government is not sufficient to cater to the needs of doctors in the country.