Governor, Nasir El-Rufai Kaduna State has issued a warning to doctors and other health workers threatening to embark on strike stating that he would not hesitate to sack anyone that engages in the action.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, on Thursday, the governor said that his administration would not succumb to blackmail by the doctors, while also saying that he would keep the state health facilities and protect workers who are willing to work.
Describing the strike notice served by the doctors was as “criminal,” because it is coming amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor El-Rufai said that the strike action would not make his government exclude health workers from the mandatory donation of 25% salary by all civil servants to fund the provision of palliatives for vulnerable people affected by the lockdown.
The government rejects the strike threat and will regard persons who fail to show up at their assigned places of work as having forfeited their employment. Every health worker that is willing to work is required to sign the register at the Ministry of Health and the health institutions to which they are deployed.
The Ministry of Health has the mandate of the government to ensure that residents of Kaduna State are not deprived of public health services.
Every effort will be made to ensure that health facilities keep functioning, staffed by willing workers who will be guaranteed free and safe access to health facilities. Those who are not willing to work are strongly warned against criminal actions such as attempts to impede access to workplaces, harass willing workers or to sabotage facilities and equipment.
The governor was also quoted to have said that the “state government will not be misled into granting health workers a special status amongst public servants. The consequences of concessions made along such lines by previous governments have created a sense that some public servants are more precious than others.