NARD to call off strike after meeting with Senate president

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Following a confidential meeting with the Senate leadership, the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) is reportedly considering ending its two-week-long strike in the near future.

Some members of the resident Doctors’ professional body on Tuesday evening, met with the president of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio and other Principal Officers of the Senate, to discuss issues surrounding the ongoing strike and planned protest by resident Doctors.

Speaking with journalists shortly after the closed-door meeting, the national president of NARD, Dr Emeka Innocent Orji expressed optimism that the strike would be called off soon adding that, the body’s planned national protest has been cancelled.

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Dr Orji said he was confident that with the kind of assurance given them by the President of the Senate, who is the number three citizen of the country, there would be good news within the next 24 hours.

He said: “We had a very fruitful meeting with the Senate led by the President of the Senate and from our discussions with them, we are very hopeful that when we table our discussions today before the NEC, something positive would come out.

“From our interaction with the President of the Senate and the practical demonstration he did before us today, we are very confident that there would be light at the end of the tunnel in the next 24 hours.

“Because of the intervention of the President of the Senate, who is the number three citizen and the assurance he has given us, our planned national protest has been cancelled while the decision on the ongoing strike would be taken as soon we meet.”

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Speaking in the same vein, Senate President Akpabio thanked the medical doctors for honouring the Senate by calling off their planned nationwide protest and also working towards calling off the ongoing strike action.

Senator Akpabio who described the Tinubu-led administration as ‘Doctors-friendly’ said it was disastrous for medical doctors to be in strike given the relevance of their services in the society.

The Senate president assured the striking resident Doctors that their needs would be met as soon as a minister was appointed to be in charge of the nations’ ministry of Health by President Tinubu.

He said: “I thank you on behalf of the Senate for honouring us with your decision not only to cancel the planned public protest but to also call off the strike in the interest of the suffering masses.

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“Your demands are well noted, and let me assure you that as soon as a Minister in charge of Health is appointed, the Senate will work with him or her to expeditiously address all your grievances. The President Bola Tinubu-led administration is Doctors-friendly and that explains the large number of medical practitioners he has appointed into his cabinet.

Stating the roles the Senate intends to play in meeting the needs of the striking doctors, Akpabio said:

“Strike by medical practitioners should not be allowed even for a day because of the impact it creates in the polity and that is why the Senate is determined to ensure through interactions and consultation with relevant offices, amicable settlement of the impasse is reached,” Akpabio stated.

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