The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Reverend Ignatius Kaigama, has said Federal Government won’t get the solution to the industrial strike in the health sector by dragging its feet.
Kaigama, who stated this on Sunday while delivering his sermon at St. Dominic Parish, Kwali Abuja, faulted the inability of the government to provide a conducive working environment for health workers; adding that the indefinite strike by resident doctors would compound the sufferings in the land.
He said, “It is disheartening that we repeatedly hear stories of killings, acts of inhumanity and barbarism such as cutting down food crops in farmlands, burning and looting houses and property and other ills. Many of our people are being ravaged by poverty.
“As if that is not enough, we now have the strike of the National Association of Resident Doctors compounding an already worrisome situation of hunger due to the escalating prices of foodstuff.
“The doctors are striking over their pay, insurance benefits and the need to improve medical facilities. It has become normal for the Government to dilly dally in finding the best solutions until people have died or suffered irreversible damages.
“Frequent industrial actions of various professional groups reflect the poor attention given to workers with very sensitive responsibilities. It is not surprising therefore that many of our doctors are happily taking job opportunities in European countries and beyond, where their services are needed and valued.
“It appears not to disturb our authorities that we are losing many health experts, not because they want to leave the country, but because they don’t experience any job satisfaction and their effort to serve patriotically is not reciprocated by a conducive working environment and appropriate remuneration and incentives.
“We hope the third wave of COVID-19 which is here and infections and fatality rates are on the increase, will convince the Government to swing into positive action to see that the resident doctors resume their duties, with the needed medical measures taken to save lives.”
Kaigama also urged the Federal Government to do all it takes to rekindle hope in the citizens, saying “We need hope to trust again in our political leaders. We need hope to trust again in the dream of a better Nigeria, and we must rise above the clouds of hopelessness, anger and division and engage ourselves in constructive thinking and action.
“May God save us from further loss of lives. May God keep us safe so that we can go about our business in the farms, markets and schools without fear of attacks. May God provide for us food as He did for Prophet Elijah.”