By Our Correspondent
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its planned protest and picketing of the Federal Ministry of Health, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation as well as all Federal and State tertiary health institutions nationwide.
The decision was taken after a long meeting with the Federal Government, which lasted into Tuesday night.
After meeting with the Executive arm of the Government, which was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Health Dr Salma Anas, among other government officials and the leadership of the National Assembly, the National Executive Council (NEC) of NARD decided to shelve their planned protest with the view of reviewing progress made towards their demands in 72 hours.
The President of NARD Dr. Emeka Orji confirmed this to The Nation in a chat.
He said: “The planned protest slated on Wednesday has been suspended. We will review again in 72 hours.”
A few days ago, the doctors’ association announced it would begin a national protest and picketing from Wednesday by 10:00am.
NMA President Dr. Uche Ojinmah, in a statement, further admonished the government to eschew all punitive responses in the interest of industrial harmony.
He said: “The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) as the umbrella body for all doctors in Nigeria is the mother association to the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and hence as a matter of policy must protect/promote her interest.
“It is our belief that this avoidable labour dispute has gone on for far too long to the detriment of the common Nigerian citizen.
“We hereby call on our Government to quickly conclude measures to resolve all areas of disagreement and eschew all punitive responses in the interest of industrial harmony.
“NMA also calls on NARD to extend a gesture of goodwill towards the Government in the interest of our suffering patients and fellow citizens.
“Let’s put aside all obstacles (contrived or real) towards speedy resolution of this dispute for the love of the Nation.
A better Nigeria is a tangible reality if we all do right by this nation.”