The Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) has threatened to embark on a solidarity strike to support tertiary institution-based unions if the government fails to meet their demands rapidly.
The MHWUN condemned the government for the prolonged industrial action by the unions in the country's public institutions including the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Non-Academic Staff Union, the Senior Staff Association of University Teaching Hospitals, Research Institute and Associated Institutions; and the National Association of Academic Technologists.
The unions embarked on strike to reiterate their demands and urge the government to hasten the implementation of the Memorandum of Action (MoA) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the government.
The union of health workers in a press statement signed by its National President, Biobelemoye Josiah, and the Acting Secretary-General, Auwalu Kiyawa, said it is a disgrace for a good government to leave its tertiary institutions closed without meeting their demands.
“No responsible government would close down its public tertiary institutions in this 21st century because of patriotic demands for better funding of its universities and good welfare for its teaching and non-teaching staff. This is shameful.
“The Leadership of the MHWUN is particularly irked that the Federal Government and the political actors have abandoned the children of the poor masses at home to waste away, instead they are seen dissipating energy and resources that could have been used to resolve the issue to fund political tussle to occupy plum offices that previous occupiers have failed to use for the benefit of the masses.
"We are more worried with the development because the academic future of the citizenry is being disrupted whereas the politicians and top government officials have their children mostly in well-funded and equipped oversea schools or in relatively expensive private schools in Nigeria.
“Discerning minds will agree with us that the negative impact of the strike on the future of our children and Nigeria, in general, cannot be quantified. We call on people of goodwill to stand up in defense of the right and future of our children and Nigeria, by demanding the government do the right thing and bring back these children to the classroom," the health workers expressed.
MHWUN further called for the government to meet the unions' demands without delay.
“We condemn in strong terms the lethargic attitude of the government in resolving the issues in contention. In order to protect the future of our youths whose academic life is being disrupted, we call on the government to implement without further delay all the agreements it had entered with the unions,” it added.