President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba has blamed the minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, for the 44-day nation-wide strike by the health workers, under the umbrella of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) members of their salaries.
The central labour leader, who spoke to news men in Abuja shortly after JOHESU members suspended the six weeks strike, said: “the minister has no final say on whether the workers will not be paid for the number of days the strike was on. President Muhammadu Buhari has the final authority in this regard.”
This was in response to threat earlier by the minister not to pay the salaries of JOHESU members for the number of days they went on strike while some were not paid the April salary.
The NLC President decried the negative impact of the six weeks strike on the poor masses. He attributed it to the inability of the minister to resolve it, adding that instead of the minister to treat all health workers as a unit, he has been acting as if he is the minister of doctors.
“The minister has not handled this issue very well. If he had handled this issue very well, we would not have been in this quagmire. He is not the minister of only one profession; he is the minister of health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We must make this point very clear. That is why myself and the Trade Union Congress leaders are here because we want this issue to be resolved. The minister must see himself as the minister of health.”
Wabba expressed optimism that the intervention of Senate President Bukola Saraki and other respected Nigerians will bring a lasting solution to the crisis.
“I am aware that all our workers are in high spirit, they will be able to conform to all these issues if they are given fairness and justice. There have been interventions from the highest level.
“I had to leave Geneva because of this clarion call and clearly speaking also, now that the platform for this negotiation is going to be created by the National Industrial Court and believe it is going to be unbiased.
“We also hope that there is going to be fairness and justice in the long run.”