Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has attributed the ongoing strike by the Nigeria Association of Residents Doctors, NARD, which has entered its 58th day to the uncooperative attitude of the immediate past leadership of NARD.
The President of the NMA, Professor Innocent Uja made this known, while leading the newly elected leadership of the association to a familiarization  meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment , Senator Chris Ngige, Tuesday  in Abuja.
According to Uja, “I’m here with the newly elected officers of NARD . They came to me and we had a meeting ,  very cordial , meaningful interaction . And after that , I told them that I had secured appointment to introduce them to you which I thought should be private but even if it goes on CNN , it means we have opened a new chapter, very positive chapter because a chapter can be bad.
“We cannot pretend that all is well . We had to look at some of the things that have unraveled since 2nd August . As you know, I’m a man of peace and my leadership is for peace . And we really want to resolve this once and for all, so we can move on. Nigerians are suffering and we can’t allow it to continue.
“ I, as the President of the NMA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with every other persons here in my belief, in my considered opinion that we are working on the same platform, that we truly believe in what we signed and I have no doubt that what I signed was not in error.
“I signed with full understanding of the content of what we were signing . We believe that what is holding us from going back to work can be resolved . And we are not asking for everything now because there are twelve point agenda .  Some can go for a while and others can be resolved today or would have been resolved yesterday.”
In his remark, Senator Chris Ngige said it was unbelievable the former leadership of NARD took doctors to  four  different strikes in twelve calendar month, describing it as strange and a bastardization  of the medical profession.
According to Ngige, “that leadership was a bad example to the practice of medicine anywhere. Worst is that all their  actions came against manifest efforts and commitment of the Federal Government to meet up with their  demands. We all hope the new EXCO  will be different. Let all of us as doctors say never again shall we allow our noble profession be dragged through this ignoble path.
“What do you say of a NARD leadership that gave me an award of honour less than a year ago?  The leadership that in April this year,  described me as a medical elder with  contributions to the medicine practice, commending me  for the swift resolution of each matter they bring forth.
“The same NARD that in July  said Nigeria would be a  better place with public servants like Ngige. It is the same  NARD leadership in a strange swing of character, uncharacteristic of doctors, rebuffed the appeal by the President, the intervention by the National Assembly  and  all critical stakeholders, walked out on a well-thought out Memorandum of Understanding signed by all the parties after two days of negotiation. An MOU that has all the elements intended to solve the lingering problems in the health sector once and for all. What kind of leadership is that?
The Minister noted that the most strange and an all-time low was the attempt  by the former leadership of NARD to justify its strike with comparison to that of university lecturers.
“ASUU, each time it goes on strike, comes back during agreement with a pledge to cover all lost hours and they do. But we  doctors, how do we bring back those who have died in the hospitals because of strike , because there was no doctor to treat them?
Ngige who narrated the trajectory of the strike,  added that he had to  transmit the matter to the National Industrial Court when it became clear that NARD was not interested in the resolution of the dispute. He expressed optimism that with the new steps by the NMA , leading the new NARD leadership, a silver lining was in space.

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