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Speaker Abbas to Meet Tinubu Over Resident Doctors’ Planned Strike

PoliticsSpeaker Abbas to Meet Tinubu Over Resident Doctors’ Planned Strike

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja – The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abbas Tajudeen, has resolved to meet with President Bola Tinubu as part of efforts to avert the planned industrial action by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

The association had on July 5, 2023, after its Extraordinary National Executive Council, issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement all pending agreements or face industrial action by the resident doctors.

The resident doctors had embarked on a five-day warning strike between May 17 and 21, 2023, to press home their demands.

But the Speaker, at an intervention meeting with members of the union on Monday, in Abuja, appealed to them to shelve the strike.

He said the decision of the union to meet with the leadership of the House was an affirmation of their faith and confidence in the capacity of the federal lawmakers to intervene and resolve the lingering dispute. 

Abbas noted that his proposed meeting with the president would be to intimate him of the pending issues raised by NARD and appeal to the president on its resolution.

The Speaker also announced the setting up of an ad hoc committee to be chaired by the House Leader, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, which would meet with all the stakeholders with a view to addressing the issues.

The ad hoc panel has the immediate past Chairman of the 9th House Committee on Healthcare Services, Hon. Tanko Sununu (APC, Kebbi), as the Deputy Chairman, while all medical practitioners in the House would be co-opted into the ad hoc committee.

Abbas directed the ad hoc panel to swing into action immediately.

The Speaker also appealed to the resident doctors to give the House leadership two weeks period to find solutions to the issues raised.

He said the 10th House was inaugurated a little over a month ago, and appealed to the resident doctors to see reason with the current leadership and “give us a little time to address this matter”.

Abbas said: “I appeal to you to give us a little time. We just came in less than 50 days ago. Give us a little time to sort out these issues. We don’t have some stakeholders.

“Please, suspend your action by two weeks. I assure you that I’ll set up an ad hoc committee on this matter today. I also want to assure you that I’ll meet with the president between today and tomorrow and brief him on what’s happening.

“I plead with you to talk to your members that we have intervened again, and that within two weeks, we’ll take all the necessary actions.”

Abbas also announced the setting up of the ad hoc committee headed by Ihonvbere.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the resident doctors, led by its National President, Dr. Emeka Orji, acceded to the Speaker’s appeal and said they would get back to their members on the Speaker’s position.

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