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    21-day ultimatum: NMA to decide on strike Oct 2, Sultan urges dialogue

    A crucial meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association’s National Executive Council where the decision on whether to embark on strike or not will be taken has be slated for October 2, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.

    It was learnt on Friday that the meeting was convened to enable the leaders of the association to weigh the options available to them after the 21-day ultimatum they gave the Federal Government elapsed during the week.

    Sources within the association told our correspondent that some prominent members of the association are already mounting pressure on their leaders to declare an indefinite strike action following the refusal of the Federal Government to meet their demands, which include reconciliation with affiliate associations of the NMA such as the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors and the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria.

    “We are meeting on October 2 to discuss and I can tell you for a fact that we may go on strike that day. Members are already agitating,” one of the sources said.

    When contacted, the spokesperson for the Federal Capital Territory Chapter of NMA, Dr Robert Egot, confirmed to our correspondent that the association would be meeting on October 2.

    Egot, however, did not say whether strike will be declared at the meeting.

    He said, “We will be meeting on October 2 and that day will be the decision-making day. The ultimatum given to the government was to enable them to meet some of the lingering demands of some of our affiliates and the concerns of the medical profession as a whole.

    “The meeting will be in Abuja. All options will be made and situation of things will be evaluated.”

    Saturday PUNCH reports that the NMA on August 27,2021 in Benin City after its National Executive Council meeting had issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government.

    The aim of the ultimatum, according to a document sighted by our correspondent, was to enable the government to attend to lingering demands of NARD, MDCAN, MEDSABAMS and issues surrounding welfare of medical doctors in the country.

    Some of the affiliates of the NMA, such as MDCAN and MEDSABAMS, had also issued ultimatums to the Federal Government.

    Members of NARD have been on strike since August 2.

    Meanwhile, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has urged the striking resident doctors to call off their ongoing strike and embrace dialogue.

    Abubakar made the call during the opening ceremony of the 20th conference of the Association of Pediatric Surgeons of Nigeria on Friday in Sokoto.

    He appealed to the doctors to also respect the court order and resume work in the interest of the nation, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.

    He advised the doctors to involve elders, traditional rulers and other stakeholders to engage the government in dialogue.

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