Lagos doctors: NUPENG begins solidarity strike – Vanguard

LAGOS — The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers, NUPENG, made good its threat of embarking on a solidarity strike in support of the sacked Lagos doctors, yesterday.

A reliable source told Vanguard that there was no lifting of petroleum products in any of the depots in Lagos.

Although the situation has not resulted to fuel scarcity yet as filling stations are still selling the product they have in stock, Lagos residents are apprehensive of what awaits them when the filling stations run out of product.

A cross section of those talked to over the development appealed to the state government and the striking doctors to reach an amicable agreement before the situation gets out of hand.

However, many believed that NUPENG might have resolved to embark on strike just to get even with the state for enforcing the no parking directive on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.

An official of NUPENG who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, said the union actually stopped loading products from the depots since Tuesday.

Though Vanguard gathered the President of NUPENG, Mr. Igwe Achese, is out of the country, he had already given directive that the strike should commenced Tuesday, on the day the nation’s celebrated 13th years of uninterrupted civil rule.

The official said: “We have begun a solidarity strike in support of the striking Lagos doctors since Tuesday, May 29. Tankers have stopped loading from the depots and what petrol stations are selling now are the products they have in stock. It is after they exhaust what they have in the filling stations that the impact will be felt. The strike is only targeted at Lagos where doctors have been sacked by the government. It is aimed at putting pressure on the state government to recall the sacked doctors unconditionally because an injury to one is an injury to the other.”

Though the NUPENG said the strike was limited to Lagos, but 90 per cent of petroleum products in the country are from Lagos. Expectedly, if the action persists, it will definitely cause a nationwide fuel scarcity.

Osun NMA threatens

The Osun State Chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, has appealed to Governor Rauf Aregbesola to prevail on his Lagos State counterpart, Mr Babatunde Fashola, to rescind his decision on the sack of the 788 medical doctors in the employment of Lagos State.

Addressing newsmen in Osogbo, yesterday, chairman of the state branch of the NMA, Dr Emmanuel Ajewole, stated that the appeal became imperative in view of the influence Gov. Aregbesola was believed to have in Lagos State and on Gov. Fashola.

The association threatened that if all options fail, the 0ver 800 medical doctors in the state would be left with no other option than to join forces with other doctors nation wide for sympathy strike.

Oyo resident doctors begin warning strike

Meantime, the National Association of Resident Doctors in Oyo State has started a three-day warning strike to protest the sack of 788 medical doctors by the Fashola administration.

While directing all members of the association to observe the warning strike from May 31 to Saturday, June 2, the President, Dr. Wale Ojediran, said at the University College Hospital, Ibadan that the issue was becoming a national crisis.

He recalled that one of the grievances of the medical practitioners was the payment of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure which began in September, 2009 and that an agreement was signed in March 2011 that the CONMESS salary should be paid in full without compression to all doctors.

The association condemned alleged undemocratic and unconstitutional actions of the Fashola-led government, noting that the action portrayed the government as being insensitive to the plight of the people of the state.

Pledging their solidarity with their counterparts in Lagos, they said an injustice to one is injustice to all.

Therefore, they appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on Lagos State Government to prevent total collapse of health sector in the country.

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