25th February, 2011
The Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria has described the continued strike of Lagos doctors as the height of politically-inspired insensitivity against the good people of Lagos State. The party says it is being constrained to join in advising Governor Fashola to take radical measures to address this inclination to politicise this critical sector and save Lagosians from the clutches of desperate politicians that wear doctorsâ€™ garbs.
In a release in Lagos, signed by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Joe Igbokwe, the party says it is disgusting that doctors have decided to resort to frequent strikes against the government and people of Lagos to pursue narrow interests. it says that since nature abhors vacuum, the state government should consider it an urgent need to replace these doctors, some of whom are actively involved in partisan politics.
â€œWe know that Governor Fashola has met the original demands of the striking doctors up to seventy five, which is a very liberal target for any trade union or organization to keep the peace and work for further improvement. But it is shocking that barely two months after calling off its suspended strike, the doctors have once again gone on strike and have refused all entreaties of Lagosians and eminent Nigerians to accept the magnanimous olive branch of the government. We wonder which pressure group or workers union will not see a 75 per cent success in their agitations as an excellent score and this has made us to conclude that Lagos doctors are up to some partisan mischief, more so when they are being led by a PDP candidate in Oyo State in the coming election.
â€œWe want to remind Lagosians that government exists for all Lagosians and as such, must meet the yearning demands of other critical sectors of the state like education, roads, water, housing, transportation, agriculture, power, judiciary, environment, sports, youth and women development, etc. We wonder if the Lagos State government lives on meeting every demand of Lagos doctors, if it will have any other thing to do for the over 17 million Lagosians that look up to it to solve critical needs of the people. We note that given the cosmopolitan status of Lagos and as Africaâ€™s emerging mega city, the state faces serious infrastructure challenges to assist the citizens live an improved modern life. We do not see how we can do these if we must attend to every of the demands of one union at all times because they offer critical services to the people. We do not believe that expertise in any field could be employed as a weapon of blackmail.
â€œWe are tempted to urge Governor Fashola to stand firm and work towards replacing these striking political doctors should they continue to play politics with the lives and well being of Lagosians but we believe they are still committed medical doctors who still understand the meaning of Hippocratic Oath. The Governor has shown enough good faith, which these doctors have spurned in their desperation to satisfy their primordial selfish political interests. We therefore urge the Lagos doctors once again to return to work because we believe that the health of Lagosians is too precious to be sacrificed on the altars of partisan politics. We want the rank and file of the members of the Doctors Guild to go back to work and prove they are not instruments in the hands of the PDP to destabilise the peace and progress of Lagos for ulterior partisan benefits.
â€œOnce again, Lagos ACN thanks all Lagosians for standing firm with the Fashola regime in facing this challenge. We urge them to remain undaunted and support the governor to deliver more dividends of democracy to Lagosians as he has been doing in the past four years and let us collectively build Lagos to a wonderful modern mega city that will meet the needs of Nigerians who see it as the primary place to live in Nigeria today.â€