The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria, MDCAN of the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan has warned the members of other unions in the hospital to stop assaulting its members during industrial action, vowing that MDCAN would not hesitate to resist them when next such assault happens.
The threat followed the alleged assault on the members of the association during last month’s industrial action by the Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, in the tertiary hospital.
According to a statement signed by the UCH MDCAN General Secretary, Dr. Olushola Ibiyemi, the association recalled that JOHESU, during its strike on Thursday, 21st September, 2017 locked up offices in the hospital and refused to submit the key of the key rooms to the management of the hospital.
The statement reads, “When some management staff of the hospital in the persons of Dr. Victor Akinmoladun and Dr. Clement Okolo, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee respectively attempted to retrieve some keys in order to ensure access to certain vital areas on the premises, they were roughly manhandled and locked up in the key room as hostages.
It took the efforts of the Chief Medical Director, CMD, of the hospital, Prof. Temitope Alonge, who himself was pelted with sachet water and the men of the Nigeria Police to secure their release.
“These unfortunate events bring to memory similar circumstances that led to the murder of a former CMD in Nigeria, Prof. Bamidele Bandipo of blessed memory”.
The association expressed the belief that “it is the inalienable right of any worker to participate in a strike”, but maintained that “it is absolutely uncalled for to endanger the lives of others”, stressing, “worldwide, hospitals represent a place of refuge and it is therefore unfortunate that health workers, who should know better will desecrate these corridors of sanctuary”.
While insisting that MDCAN members would henceforth meet assault on them with every acceptable resistance and if need be, be prosecuted to the fullest, the association charged the government to be proactive in nipping industrial unrests in the bud.
The statement concluded, “We wish to state that recent happenings in the hospital characterised by unbridled unionism can best be described as deplorable and we condemn it in the strongest of terms. The Nigerian populace has suffered enough, the health sector must desist from adding to their burden”.