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Kogi recruits new doctors, to sack striking medics

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Kogi recruits new doctors, to sack striking medics

Gbenga Odogun, Lokoja

The Kogi State Government has concluded plans to lay off all striking doctors in it employment and replace them with new recruits.

This follows the refusal of the striking doctors to call off the strike which entered its 14th day today.

The state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association had resumed its strike 14 days ago following the breakdown of negotiations between it and the state government.

Our correspondent gathered that the state through the Ministry of Health had started secret recruitments since last week.

It was also gathered that some of the newly recruited doctors would start to receive their letters from Monday (today).

However, the state Commissioner for Health,  Dr. Saka Haruna, has debunked the doctors’ sacking story, describing  it “as an erroneous impression emanating from the hands of some mischief makers” in the state.

He said the newly 230 recruited doctors would be an addition to the existing 163 in the state.

He said, “We have no intention to relieve striking doctors of their duties as we will continue to negotiate with the Nigerian Medical Association to put an end to the ongoing impasse between the association and the government.”

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the NMA has warned medical doctors not to accept employment offers from the Kogi State Government at this critical period when salaries were not being paid as and when due.

The NMA in a statement signed by its Chairman, Dr. Godwin Tijani, said the association was aware of the state government’s ongoing recruitment of new doctors to replace striking medics who had not been paid for months.

The statement partly read,   “NMA Kogi State advise and warn those doctors invited for the interview to have a rethink. What happened to the old pot can still happen to new pot. There are doctors in the services of the state government who are being owed salaries for months and to remind them that they are members of the NMA and doctors in the state are on strike and as such, they should not resume work as a mark of solidarity with their colleagues.”

Tijani, however, maintained that NMA  were not against the recruitment of more doctors, just as he emphasised that the state was short of medical officers, but insisted that, such process at this critical time when doctors are being owed salaries, non implementation of revised CONMESS and relativity, promotions and annual stepping does not speak well of any government.

               

Contact: [email protected]

 

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