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Aregbesola fails to sack striking doctors

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Femi Makinde

The Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, may have withdrawn the threat to sack all doctors in state-owned hospitals who have been on strike since September 28, 2015.

Our correspondent learnt on Monday that the strike was still on. The doctors said they could not be frightened by the threat, adding that they earned a quarter of the salaries of their colleagues in other states in the county but were paying higher taxes.

Some of the doctors, who spoke to our correspondent in Osogbo on Monday, said they had yet to receive letters of termination of appointment or any memo indicating that they had been sacked.

The Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, Osun State chapter, Dr. Suraj Ogunyemi, when contacted, said he was not aware of any sacking.

The NMA had dared the governor to carry out the threat and they also threatened to frustrate the governor’s alleged plan to bring in doctors from Cuba to take over from their Nigerian colleagues.

The Chairman of the Osun State Association of Medical and Dental Officers, Dr. Isiaka Adekunle, when contacted, also said he had not seen any sack letter.

He said, “I have not received any sack letter but we are still waiting. We are in touch with our members and we have not been told that any of them has been sacked.”

When contacted, the Head of Service in the state, Mr. Sunday Owoeye, declined to comment on the issue.

He said, “I am not available now. Please call me back next Friday.”

The doctors embarked on strike to reject half salaries which the government was paying.

Aregbesola had on December 18 given the doctors a seven-day ultimatum that any doctor that failed to resume on December 25, 2015 should consider himself sacked.

The ultimatum was later extended to last Friday and the governor said at a forum that he would implement the civil service rule if the doctors failed to resume on Friday, January 8.

SOURCE: THE PUNCH

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