PDP chides Buhari over strike
By Henry Umoru & Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA—THE Senate yesterday pleaded with the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, to call off the on going three weeks old strike which has affected the health sector across the country.
The union had on April 18, embarked on industrial action due to what it described as the insensitivity and lackadaisical attitude of drivers of the health sector.
The Senate’s resolution was sequel to a motion by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, APC, Lagos Central, entitled ‘’Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Need to Take Precautionary Measures.”
The Senate also urged the Minister of Interior to take necessary steps to check immigration, just as it asked the Minister of Health to ensure alertness to combat whatever cases that might arise and get Ebola vaccines ready for an emergency.
Presenting her motion, Senator Tinubu recalled that an infected immigrant, Mr Patrick Sawyer, who arrived Nigeria on July 23, 2014, was notable for being the index case for the introduction of Ebola virus into Nigeria.
Senator Tinubu, who noted that the tide, as at then, was stemmed by quick response of the government, said recent reports by the World Health Organisation, WHO, showed that the disease was back in Congo with 19 deaths and 39 infected casualties recorded so far.
“The World Health Organisation states that Nigeria and other African countries are at risk of spread,’’ she said.
According to her, unless hospitals are prepared properly and equipped with Ebola vaccines, it will be an epidemic Nigeria may be unable to take on.
Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday said the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to address the industrial action embarked upon by health workers across the country was a clear manifestation of insensitivity to the plight and suffering of Nigerians.
A statement issued on behalf of the party by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, read: “Is it not the height of insensitivity that while Nigerians in dire need of medical attention are languishing, President Buhari abandoned them without any form of intervention and embarked on medical tourism to London with our common patrimony?
“As if that was not enough, upon his return to Nigeria, instead of summoning an emergency meeting of critical stakeholders to find solution to the problem, Mr. President abandoned the striking health workers and chose to organize and attend a political rally in Jigawa State.”
“Such aloofness by the government is directly responsible for the escalation of killings and bloodletting in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Plateau, Kogi, Zamfara, Borno, Yobe, Kaduna states and others parts of the country, where marauders and insurgents are pillaging our citizens as if overlooking the plight of Nigerians has become a state policy.”
The party said if elected in 2019, it would prioritized the health, security and welfare of Nigerians, even as it urged Nigerians to vote out the All Progressives Congress (APC)-administration of President Buhari in the next elections.
The statement furthered urged the health workers to return to their duty posts in the interest of ailing Nigerians.
“While we plead with the health workers to be open to ways to solve the problem, we charge Nigerians to support one another and adhere to all health etiquettes to forestall an outbreak of epidemic and health crisis.’’