As health workers in Oyo state commenced a three day warning strike on Wednesday to protest the sack of 256 workers of the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomosho, people of the state have began to express worries over what becomes of the multi-million Naira edifice.
According to a statement jointly signed by the Chairperson and Secretary of the Oyo state chapter the Joint Health Sector Unions(JOHESU), Comrade Afonja R.A and Comrade Nofisat Balogun respectively, the state Government had promised not to sack any worker, but reneged on its promise.
”In recent times, JOHESU has made several visits and meetings with the Government on the need to restore activities and pay full salaries to LAUTECH Teaching hospital staff, but rather, Government went ahead to sack 256 Health workers, without any basis or justification, under the pretext of restructing exercise, despite numerous promises and assurances that no one will be sacked, particularly by his honour, The Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Popoola Adeduntan. Thereafter, Labour has contiuously made several attempts to dialogue and engage Government through letters and involvement of elders including issuing a 7 day ultimatum with no response or acknowldgement from the state Government”.
”Following perceived Government insensitivity and persistent failure to yieldto Labour demands on this matter and other issues, JOHESU resolved to withdraw the services of all health workers in the state for three days from Wednesday 17th January to Friday 19th January, 2018 to awaken Government’s attention to our demands”, the statement concluded.
Similarly, the people of the state are continually expressing worries over what becomes of the Teaching Hospital, which the previous administration in the state under the leadership of Otunba Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala spent millions of Naira to construct.
According to them, the attitude of the State Government is an indication that it not ready to continue funding the Teaching Hospital.
”The Government has began the retrenchment of workers in the Teaching hospital, this shows that the Government is no longer ready to fund the hospital, go there and see what is happening, everything is at a standstill. The Commissioner for Health is too preoccupied with his Governorship ambition to have any time to look into the accumulating problems in the hospital ”, they lamented.
In his reaction to the development , the Chairman Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria(MHWUN)Comrade(Pastor)Ademola Babalola said the sack of the workers on December 27, 2017 came as a shock to the union.
”We received a shock last year, precisely on 27th December, 2017, 256 JOHESU members received sack letters from the management of LAUTECH Teaching hospital, while other workers were preparing to celebrate the new year, they were sacked”.
Comrade Babalola, however, called on the state Government to meet the demands of the health workers by addressing the acute shortage of manpower and equipment in the state owned hospitals, among others, adding ”we thank God for the way He helped us last year, and we believe God will be with us this year. The grace of God has always helped us”.
In his views, the Chairman of the state Council of the Trade Union Congress(TUC), who also doubles as the Chairamn of the state Joint Negotiating Council(JNC) Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran noted that Government could not achieve anything without the workers.
”Workers should continue to put in their best, Government cannot achieve anything without workers, and since we are the tools we should put in our best. Perseverance, occasionally, pays, we are like the pumping machine, we give them all the water, they need. They should also give the pumping machine a little water, they should motivate us. Oyo state has the best crop of loyal and obedient civil servants in the country”, Comrade Ogundiran asserted.