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Doctors Strike: NARD asserts that the government’s claim that negotiations are still ongoing is false.



Doctors Strike: NARD asserts that the government’s claim that negotiations are still ongoing is false.

“The situation with the doctors’ strike is of concern to government and the negotiations have been ongoing.”

The federal government says negotiations are ongoing with stakeholders over the five-day warning strike embarked upon by members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Wednesday. However, the NARD president says his association has not been contacted since the strike began early Wednesday.

Fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, the Director of Public Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Morenike Alex-Okoh, said the strike was of concern for the government.

“The situation with the doctors’ strike is of concern to government and the negotiations have been ongoing.

“We will continue under the circumstances, so, I cannot give you any conclusive response now.

“However, government, the leadership of the ministry and relevant stakeholders are meeting to resolve the situation as quickly as possible,’’ she said.

NARD served notice on the federal government on Tuesday warning that it could not guarantee further industrial harmony should government fail to address the issues raised.

NARD’s letter entitled: “Notice of Strike Action’’ was signed jointly by its National President, Innocent Orji and Secretary-General, Chikezie Kelechi.

They stated that NARD had issued a two-week ultimatum to the federal government to resolve issues as contained in the ultimatum before its expiration on 13 May.

Tuesday’s letter read in part: “regrettably the issues have remained unresolved despite several attempts by NARD to get government to resolve them.

“Rising from her Extra-Ordinary Meeting on Monday, May 15, NARD’s National Executive Council resolved to embark on a five-day warning strike beginning on May 17.’’

The doctors are demanding an immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to the tune of 200 per cent of current gross salaries of doctors.

NARD is also demanding the immediate withdrawal of the Bill in parliament seeking to compel medical and dental graduates to serve compulsorily in Nigeria for five years before getting full licences to practise.

It also wants immediate domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act and a review of Hazard Allowance by state governments.

Meanwhile, Chris Ngige, minister of Labour and Employment had on Tuesday, relayed the federal government’s warning to the association to shelve the strike.

He issued the warning shortly after receiving a letter of notification from the NARD executive on the planned strike.

In a statement signed by Olajide Oshundun, director, Press and Public Relations in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr Ngige said the planned strike was illegal.

“There is nothing like warning strike. A strike is a strike. If they want to take that risk, the options are there. They have the right to strike. You cannot deny them that right.

“Their employer has another right under Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act, however, to withhold their pay for those five days.

“If the NARD has strike funds to pay its members for those five days, no problem.

“The health minister will instruct teaching hospitals to employ ad-hoc people for those five days and use the money of the people who went on strike to pay the ad-hoc doctors,’’ Mr Ngige said.

Mr Ngige also said in the statement that upon receipt of NARD’s letter, he contacted the Minister of Health, who told him that a meeting had been scheduled with the resident doctors for Wednesday.

He advised the doctors to avail themselves of the opportunity to dialogue with their employers, rather than embarking on a warning strike, which, he said, is unknown to the law.

No negotiation ongoing
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the President of NARD, Mr Orji, said that members were still awaiting the federal government’s call for negotiations.

“I am still in my hotel room now and I have not received any call to come to the table to discuss the strike.

“We also heard that government is planning a `no work, no pay’ strategy, but our position is that it should resolve issues raised because that is the only way to avoid escalation.

“Issuing threats will definitely worsen the problem. If no work no pay is implemented, our members will determine how we will handle it.

“Going by that route will escalate the problem because it means that government is not ready to address the issues we have raised and will rather give punitive measures.

“Our members will decide and give us further directives, but no one should blame us if they decide to escalate the strike,’’ he said.

A visit to Asokoro District Hospital, Abuja, showed doctors were attending to patients.

Chidi Nnabuchi, former Head of Clinical Services said the hospital would not shut down but would operate based on available capacity.

He said emergency care would be offered where necessary, but could not ascertain if patients would be placed on admission. The number of out-patients seeking attention would also be reduced.

He explained that this would be so because only medical consultants, NYSC and in-house doctors would be attending to patients.

“We have few doctors that are corps members; they are not part of the strike. Some others are on local employment.

“They are on ground to handle emergencies and treat patients in the wards.

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Justice Rahman Oshodi of a Lagos Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, yesterday, sentenced 42-year-old Suleiman Usman to life imprisonment for defiling his daughter.




Justice Rahman Oshodi of a Lagos Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court, yesterday, sentenced 42-year-old Suleiman Usman to life imprisonment for defiling his daughter.


The judge sentenced him after he was found guilty as charged.

NaijaNews reports that the Lagos State government had arraigned Usman on a two-count charge bordering on defilement of his two daughters, who were eight and five years respectively, at his No.2 Bale Street, Onisewo in the Apapa area of Lagos State.

The defendant was 37 years when he committed that offence in 2018, while the survivors were eight and five years.

His offence contravened the provisions of section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

He had pleaded not guilty to the two counts charge.

Usman was first arraigned before Justice Sybil Nwaka, sometime in October 2019 before the judge was elevated to the Court of Appeal and the case file was reassigned to Justice Oshodi wherein he was re-arraigned on two counts of charge.

He also pleaded not guilty to the two counts and the prosecution commenced trial.

During the trial, the prosecution called four witnesses, among which, was the first survivor, the eight-year-old, the Investigative Police Officer (IPO), the defendant’s wife and mother of the survivors, and a medical doctor from Mirabel Centre.

In her testimony, the survivor identified the defendant as her father and narrated how she was repeatedly defiled by the father.

She further testified of informing her school teacher, who is close to her mother.

She told the court that she did not tell her mother because the defendant had warned and threatened that she would die if she did so.

In her testimony, the defendant’s wife narrated how she discovered that her two daughters were defiled when she took them to the hospital.

She described their house and noted they all sleep in a room, adding that their parlour is not attached to the room.

Under cross-examination, the survivor’s mother told the court that there was a night she met the defendant and her daughter in their parlour.

But the defendant told the court that his wife lied against him because he wanted to marry another wife and relocate her to the village.

However, Justice Oshodi in his judgment, yesterday, exonerated the defendant of the second charge.

The court held that the prosecution failed to prove the second charge against the defendant, as the second survivor did not testify to the second charge related to her defilement.

On count one, the court held that the testimony of the first survivor corroborated the medical doctor’s testimony.

The court said that he has considered the ingredients of the offences, the confessional statement, circumstantial evidence and the eyewitness account and therefore sentenced him to life imprisonment.

The judge also directed that his name be registered in the Sexual Offenders’ Register of Lagos State.

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BREAKING: Raymond Dokpesi DAAR Communication Founder is Dead




BREAKING: Raymond Dokpesi DAAR Communication Founder is Dead


The Chairman of DAAR Communications Ltd, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, is dead.


He was aged 75. He was the founder of AIT/RAYPOWER, a leading media outfit in Nigeria. ROYAL NEWS reports that Dokpesi died on Monday in his Abuja residence.

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Peter Obi Discusses Attending Tinubu’s Inauguration and Proposed Protest




Peter Obi calls for calm after being spotted at Asaba Airport on Tuesday after Saturday’s presidential election

Peter Obi Discusses Attending Tinubu’s Inauguration and Proposed Protest

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 election, Peter Obi, has said he would not be attending the swearing-in ceremony of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

The former Governor of Lagos State would be sworn in as the 16th democratically elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria today at Eagle Square in Abuja.

Speaking to reporters in Abuja through his media aide, Tai Obasi, the LP flagbearer said it will be ‘extremely weird’ of him to attend Tinubu’s swearing-in when he is challenging his electoral victory in court.

Obasi noted that even though his principal is a very humble and reasonable man who is always looking for peace and unity in the country at all costs, he cannot act that weird and unreasonable.

The media aide, however, failed to confirm if the Labour Party leadership and Obi were sent individual invitations to the swearing-in ceremony.

He said, “My principal is a very humble and reasonable man who is always looking for peace and unity in the country at all costs. But it will be extremely weird for him to attend a ceremony of a man whose election victory he is challenging in court.

“My principal cannot act that weird and unreasonable. I can’t confirm if he receives an invitation to the swearing-in ceremony. But I am telling you that you can’t see him there.”

Speaking further, Obasi also denied rumuors that the former Anambra State governor is planning a demonstration ahead of today’s inauguration.

He said, “I don’t know where that report is coming from. We don’t know anything about it or who is behind the proposed protest. But I can categorically tell you that my principal is not aware of anything.

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“He is Obi and his followers are Obidient. I agree that on some occasions, they may act on their own, no matter how you tell them to keep calm. These guys are angry. They are not happy about how everything was manipulated against Obi who has given them so much hope. They followed him and waited for him all the way.”

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