Doctors in Lagos State on Thursday suspended their indefinite strike over the brutality meted out to health workers by the police during the ongoing restriction of movement across the country.
The doctors under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association had on Wednesday called for the strike after the previous day’s mass arrests of health workers, journalists and others on essential services.
However, the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu Roland Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu reached out to the doctors and apologised for the “overzealous mess” of the policemen.
In a statement by NMA, it said: “The Nigerian Medical Association Lagos had given a stay at home order to her members following the continued harassment by the officers and men of the Nigerian police force. The decision was a necessary doctrine of self preservation as it was unbearable combining the continued threat to life from the officers and men of the police force with the existing daily threat of COVID 19.
The leadership of the Association has followed the turn of events while monitoring the situation. The Nigerian police force has reached out to the Association to clarify and give assurance of cooperation with all health-workers. This, they have also done in the media. The executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu was exemplary as his timely intervention from the late hours of May 19th helped prevent worsening of the situation.
The association has further received assurances from Mr. Governor and the top hierarchy of the Police that no health workers will be further harassed in the course of their lawful efforts to sustain services in the middle of the pandemic (see attachments).
Above all, the passionate appeal from the good people of Lagos state is difficult to resist considering the fact that they will be most hit by the situation.
Following a holistic consideration of the above development, the Association hereby resolves as follows;
1. The the doctors in Lagos State, under the auspices of NMA, has, and takes seriously, a responsibility to partake actively in the fight against Covid-19 and the delivery of quality healthcare to the citizenry for the entire period of the ongoing lockdown/ restriction of movement and beyond.
2. That the sit at home order issued on the 19th of May is hereby reversed and our members are hereby directed to resume work from 6pm today 21st of May 2020 (this affects those on call duty).
3. That the Lagos state government should ensure clarity at all times, on the *exempted* status of healthcare and other essential workers for the entire period of the ongoing lockdown/restriction of movement.
4. That the Association will continue to monitor the situation and will not hesitate to take any action to protect the safety of our hardworking members.
The Association express appreciation to Mr. Governor for his timely intervention and continued assurances in ensuring that the health-workers who were held by the police were released immediately and in preventing subsequent reccurence.
We also appreciate the Honourable minister for health Dr Enahire Osagie and the HCH Lagos state professor Akin Abayomi on their timely interventions.”