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Hardship: We cannot be cowed, Ajaero asserts

…Asks FG to remove impediments on healthcare workers’ paths to migrating to greener pastures

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Joe Ajaero, has maintained that the union cannot be cowed, cannot surrender its natural mandate to powers and agents of poverty and emasculation.

 

Ajaero said this at the 11th quadrennial delegates conference of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria in Abuja.

The NLC President reiterated, “We are not after anybody’s job but we must insist that the instruments of governance must be used for the greater good of the people and not to wreck their lives”.

He who lamented that Nigerians have become scavengers due to the rising economic hardship in the country, however, noted that the government must fulfil its promises and responsibilities to Nigerians instead of pretending to be deaf to the plea of the people.

The NLC president said, “Food has become so scarce that Nigerians have become scavengers and resorting to raiding food trucks and warehouses for food.

“If those in government cannot see the danger in what is happening, we see it and must ensure that the government fulfils its duties to the people.

“We are increasingly going hungry in our father’s land and cannot continue in this destitution. The greatest unifier and mobiliser of people is hunger. It insults common sense when those in government assume that somebody is sponsoring people who are protesting because of hunger.”

He noted that recent looting by Nigerians was caused by government policies, which may escalate if nothing is done to address the issue.

“If anybody is arousing the people, it is those in government whose policies have impoverished the people and stripped them of those values that make them human beings.

“The looting of food trucks and warehouses is what you get when this happens. Unless something is done, this may unfortunately escalate. We pray it does not.

“Those who therefore think that they can stop us from this divine mission with their threats and violence should think twice.

“We cannot be cowed. We cannot surrender our natural mandate to powers and agents of poverty and emasculation. We are not after anybody’s job, but we must insist that the instruments of governance must be used for the greater good of the people and not to wreck their lives,” Ajaero stated.

Recall, several incidents of attacks and looting of warehouses and food trucks have been reported in many cities against the backdrop of the hardship and the cost-of-living crisis in the country.

Last week, some youths stole food items from trucks stuck in traffic along Kaduna Road in the Suleja area of Niger State.

The attackers reportedly overwhelmed the truck drivers and stole bags of rice before they were dispersed by soldiers.

On Sunday, the Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration confirmed the looting of its warehouse in Dei-Dei area of the FCT.

The NLC urged the FG to remove impediments on healthcare workers’ paths to migrating to greener pastures.

Ajaero said that the removal of the impediments was imperative due to the unfortunate socioeconomic situation confronting workers and, indeed, the masses in the country.

“These have deep consequences for not just the provision of effective healthcare platforms to deliver services to those in need of their services but for the professionals or workers practicing in the sector.

“The already poor equipment and general decay of infrastructure in the sector have worsened because of the economic situation, while the remuneration of workers has lagged, thus unable to meet the basic needs of workers in the industry.’

“We once again demand that the government remove all the impediments it is putting on your path to migration but rather focus on making workers in the sector enjoy better working conditions.”

The Acting National President of MHWUN, Dr Kabiru Minjibir, said that the issue of japa syndrome was a painful aspect of the Nigerian health sector.

Minjibir said that many health workers were committed to making sacrifices to serve their father’s land despite the humiliating pay structure and delivery system in the country.

The acting president said that the health workers were frustrated by the absence of an enabling work environment to fulfil their calling as professionals.

“Either the machine to perform basic procedures is not working or is not available,” he said.

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