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RE: The Anathemas of Neo-Tyrannic Tendencies: JOHESU And The Weaponry Of Strikes
Date Posted: 01/Oct/2017
I stumbled on a piece of write - up written by one Ujaddughe MOSES Oriasotie, hiding under the guise of a Public Affairs Analyst to spit garbage, effluvia and messes under the headline: ""The Anathema Of Neo-Tyrannic Tendencies: JOHESU And The Weaponry Of Strikes!". It is reasonable to leave the writer (whom I will conveniently refer to as Moses) to the judgment of his teeming readers, whom I am sure are not as shallow-minded as he is, but it is also important that someone responds to a fool according to his folly, so that he may not be wise in his own sight. This latter reasoning necessitated this piece which is also aimed at setting the record straight and exposing this pay-boy who is masquerading as a Public Affairs Analyst.
 
Paul I Know...:
I have listened to, and read opinions of real Public affairs analysts, and I have also compared the contents of their opinions and analyses to that of Moses. It has been revealed clearly that this man called Moses is nothing but a mere hungry writer who took advantage of the volatile state of the Nigerian health sector to earn some coins. 
 
Real Public affairs analysts look at issues with objectivity, present arguments that are devoid of sentiments, they never draw conclusion based on half-truth information gotten from only one side in a dispute. The kind of unbalanced judgment presented by Moses in his babbling only presents him as a blind judge wearing a black veil to judge a case in the night inside a dark room. We know the real Public Affairs Analysts, but Moses is not one of them – He is simply a _Pocket Affairs Analyst._
 
Also, my friend claimed to be a University Lecturer. If this claim is true (which I doubt so much because it does not reflect in his reasoning and his writing style), then it follows that he is going about with a dead conscience. Imagine someone who has just resumed from ASUU strike which lasted for over a month undisturbed, now trying to blackmail others who are fighting for their legitimate rights. This is a case of a pot calling kettle black.
 
It is also clear that Moses lacks the basic knowledge of Labour Law. His inability to differentiate between various levels of association made him to erroneously refer to JOHESU as a Union. The Joint Health Sector Unions is not a union but a conglomerate of Unions in the Health sector. Imagine someone attempting to analyze an event which he knows next to nothing about. If you have been awarded this evil contract and you do not have the willpower to reject it, why not contract it out to someone with good sense of judgment who knows clearly what is going on in the sector.
 
Moses And His Lies:
I am not surprised to read all the lies heaped up by Moses - afterall he must do something to justify the pay. He claims all JOHESU demands revolve round fighting the Doctor. Can someone please help me to ask him to explain how for example, the demand for settlements of Promotion arrears that have accumulated from year 2013 to date relates to fighting the doctors. Was the money kept in NMA bank account? 
 
When JOHESU was fighting for skipping, NMA members were busy calling them names, saying it amounts to stealing, Robbery etc. The same case was referred to court and judgment was delivered in favour of JOHESU. While JOHESU was busy struggling with the ministry of health for implementation of the judgment, NMA went ahead to, out of jealousy request for skipping for her members too. I mean the same skipping that NMA referred to as stealing. The sad side of the matter is that NMA members got implementation of skipping, but JOHESU members are still struggling to get theirs till today. If this now forms part of JOHESU demands, should someone is of sound mind refer to this as “fighting the Doctors”?
 
In years 2014, 2015 and 2016, some centres experienced subvention shortfalls. As a result of this, deductions made for some cooperative societies, unions and associations were not remitted for some particular months, and some members were also owed salaries till date. If Unions are now saying such deductions should be remitted, and the salary arrears paid with alacrity, is it not insane for someone to say it is about “fighting the doctors”?
 
I wonder why Moses is seriously misinformed on the same issue over which he has chosen to be a “Public Affairs Analyst”. If he does not read the dailies, if he does not listen to news on the television, I guess he should have a radio on his mobile cell phone. He must be the one who has chosen to live in the dark, because this age affords everyone the opportunity to be easily informed. I am sure even an illiterate gari seller in the market will not open her mouth to say “all JOHESU demands are about fighting the doctors”
 
Meanwhile, if the impression being created is that everyone else in the Health sector is fighting the Physicians, then an unbiased analyst should have sought to know why all hands are on only one category of Professionals. Are they the only ones in the sector? – definitely no! The Pharmacists are there. We still have the Physiotherapists. Why is everybody not fighting the Medical Laboratory Scientists? Why is it that the Optometrists still have friends in the same sector? You claim it is envy – Why is everyone else not envying the Nurses? 
 
The Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital case is another sad story of how non-Physicians in the health sector are being oppressed, suppressed and relegated to the background. Imagine a whole CMAC, in person of Dr Ovienria Wilson, descending to the level of “area boys” by slapping a Union leader, simply because he mobilized his members for strike. The audacity was that of a sacred cow, who knows he can do anything and go scot-free. He as well tampered with evidence by destroying the cell phone of another Union leader who was trying to cover the ugly incidence. For Moses to have referred to Dr Ovienria Wilson as a man with contagious humility, we may then conclude that if the Physician with a contagious humility could donate a dirty slap to a unionist for no cause, then the ordinary ones among them who are not with any iota of humility can use matchet or break bottles to prevent someone form “enforcing” a strike. This is exactly what we have been coping with in the health sector.
 
Meanwhile, it is pertinent to tell our friends that it shall not be business as usual, as this case is going to be pursued to a logical conclusion. It is glaring to everyone that Moses’ piece was aimed at making a damage control of the incident at the Irrua Hospital, but it is important for our friends at the other side of this struggle to note that Nigerians cannot be deceived any further, the era in which Physicians Are treated as sacred cows in the health sector is gone for good. In this era of change, no pigeon shall be taller than the other, since no Nigerian is more Nigerian than the other.
 
We Were not Fooled
Who is deceiving who? The mention made of the sack of striking NARD members during Goodluck Jonathan time is laughable. May I reliably inform you that none of us was fooled when we heard of the sack. We all knew you people were acting a script written by the then Honourable Minister of Health and Directed by the then NMA President . We were therefore not surprised to observe that the sack of the striking NARD members was announced in the morning, and the Federal government of Nigeria commenced negotiation with the the same NARD in the evening of the same day. There is a common saying among the Yorubas that implies that: “a good mother beats her beloved child with a cushioned hand” This was the case between the NMA members and the Ministers of Health – both parties being from the same constituency. You people acted the movie, we watched it and felt entertained – _shikena._
 
NARD and Her Demands:
I have no problem with Resident Doctors requesting to be captured under the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), but I almost wept for Nigerian health sector when I discovered that it formed part of the reasons the NARD declared strike. Someone should please help me to ask whether these people reason at all before generating their endless list of disgusting demands. IPPIS was devised by the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to make salary payment easy and also to handle the menace of ghost workers in the federal civil service. The government’s initial intention was to enroll all its staff on the platform, but the Physicians, refused to be enrolled under the scheme, threatened to go on strike if the government dares attempt to register them on the platform. Trust they will always have their ways. They have ever since then been paid on another platform.
 
If the resident doctors are now ready to embrace the IPPIS after sorting out their initial fear of being detected by the system as earning double salary, (which is actually the case with the Honorary consultants who are primarily staff of the Ministry of Education, and who earn from the Universities, and also earn fat pay as allowances in the Ministry of Health) then it suppose not to be an issue over which dispute can be declared and strike will result. The NARD should have just approached the government to simply say “we are now ready to eat our vomitus”
 
More disgusting is what happened during this very last NARD strike, when an addition was made to the list of demands, and guess what the addition was? “NARD was demanding that the Honourable Minister of Health be punished by NMA for non conforming to their frivolous demands. I was watching an interview with NARD executives on a television station where the presenter asked about the relevance of this additional point, and the respondent, after some minutes of babbling discovered how childish they had sounded, then required that the interviewer should skip that point and move to the next one.
 
The way things are going with NARD, very soon they will be embarking on strike to say government should enact a law exempting Physicians’ wives from joining the queue whenever they go shopping. 
 
Who is supporting whom?
It amuses me when some of Moses’ colleagues, for lack of understanding, refer to other Professionals in the Health team as supporting staff. The question is “Who is supporting who”? Healthcare is a team work. None is supporting the other. Moses and other shallow -minded analysts should let this sink into their heads. You all watch football matches and you still fail to recognize how team members should relate. 
 
The stupid arguments Moses and his kinds will always put forward is that “When a patient comes to the hospital, he has come to see the Doctor” This is fallacy! Anytime I hear this, it sounds to me as if the hospital is a zoological garden, the Physician is a baboon and the patients are tourists who have come to see the baboon. The truth of the matter is that the patient has not come to see anybody, he has come to get well. If for argument sake, we agree that the patient has come to see someone, then he has come to see whoever can help him to get well, and this includes all the players in the health sector – both the professionals and non-professionals. In fact, the Physician is never the first person to see the patient, and in most cases, he is not even the last.
 
It is also important that we recognize the use of the word “Doctor” in the context of an average Nigerian who is a patient. I once listened to a Diabetic patient who after attending a Dietitian’s clinic said “Doctor said I am diabetic, that I should reduce my carbohydrate intake, that I should rather eat this and that and not this and that”. The Physicians should learn to recognize and respect other professionals in the healthcare team and not to trivialize their role by referring to them as supporting staff. This is uncivilized and demoralizing. Nobody trained in the University to support another professional.
 
The Question is:
To be objective, it is important to observe that JOHESU was not the first to mobilize members for strike in the country. We have seen NMA strike, NARD conducted hers, ASUU just concluded one. All these were hitch-free. We did not hear of issues like picketting or lock up of offices, clinics, laboratories etc. One may then ask: Why is JOHESU strike always characterized by all these scenes? 
 
The answer is not far-fetched. There is a common saying that “the same person who makes someone miserable will also be the first to refer to him as being miserable”. The blame is always that of the Managements of every centre. When the servant falls sick, he will be seen as being naughty, but when it is the turn of the master’s child, he will be compelled to taste something. This has been the case when it comes to the issue of strike under our MDs/CMDs. They make all possible attempts to coax our members into working during strike. This they do by victimizing Heads of various departments and forcing them to make sure that normal work is going on in their various departments, an ongoing strike notwithstanding. This will then make it easy for them to say “we are not even feeling their absence”, whereas, the irony of it is that a good number of those who are supposed to be on strike are hindered from joining the strike.
 
Another approach that is always adopted by these MDs/CMDs is to bring in non-professionals to perform the duties of professionals in the hospitals, thereby practicing quackery and exposing our beloved patients to an untold level of mismanagement. These same chief executives were there when the trainee physicians who have become spoilt brats embark on strike, though they are aware that a good number of Nurses and other professionals can clerk patients and prescribe drugs, they are also well travelled and they are aware that this is done in some other countries including some states in the United States of America where Nurses clerk patients, and Pharmacists prescribe drugs without the inputs of the Physicians. They will never call on any other professional to replace the striking Resident Doctors, because they are from the same constituency. A good number of Perioperative nurses can perform some surgical procedures quite well, but they as well recognize the fact that it is not their duty to do so, they therefore stay clear in respect of others’ areas of core competence. This is what the physicians are not ready to do, they want to practice every profession during the strike, even when they know next to nothing about the practice, not for the love of the patient, but to prove the point that the hospital can run in the absence of others. Wherever this is happening, we cannot fold our hands and watch quackery being performed in our territories just because we decided to embark on strike. We realize the fact that strike is not meant to destroy the facility, but to call the attention of our employers, having exhausted all other means of dispute settlement. It is therefore of paramount importance to us that we secure our various territories and not to allow any “Mr Know All” who in the real sense knows next to nothing, to destroy our territories for us. This is because each time they are allowed to mess up our territories, we always resume from strikes, spending months to right so many things that would have been done wrongly, while some tend to have become permanently damaged, especially equipments that have been wrongly handled and patients that have been poorly managed by these quacks.
 
Just during this on-going strike, I accosted one of my members who is a Medical Laboratory Scientist on his way to the laboratory, I challenged him on why he was heading for the laboratory during the strike and he explained to me that the HOD proposed to him that he should be coming to work under a locked door during the strike, and when he refused, he was then asked to come and “put the resident doctors through”, so that they may take over the benches in the absence of the Medical Laboratory Scientists. I wonder how someone will take some few hours to teach you what took him five/six years plus a year of internship to learn. This and many others are the ways the managements of various hospitals generate heat during JOHESU strike.
 
Resident Doctors, despite being trainees, are allowed to go on strike without any form of victimization, in fact, they easily co-opt non resident doctors like the House Officers and non-members like Medical Officers, to the extent that in some centres like UCH, even the Staff Medical Services Department is always shut down whenever the resident doctors are on strike. As illegal as this may sound, it never results in any form of victimization. 
 
I followed closely during the last NARD strike, no mention was made of “no work, no pay”, but immediately JOHESU commenced strike, they remembered that there is something called “no work, no pay”. Even if it is just a threat, it still amounts to double standard. I was not surprised to watch the Honourable Ministers who are supposed to be unbiased umpires, playing against the non-physicians during negotiation with JOHESU, afterall both the Minister of Labour and that of Health are from NMA extraction. 
 
Wind Don Blow; Chicken yash don expose:
The secret has been blown open! Ujaddughe Moses Oriasotie is a Medical Doctor. He is not the Public Affairs Analyst he claimed to be. Someone should help me to ask him how many topical issues of public interest he has ever analysed in the public, whoever has ever watched him on the television, listened to him on the radio, or read any public opinion credited to him should please signify. I wonder why someone will have to hide his real identity and hide under the guise of Public Affairs Analyst to feed the public with what is not. Okay! I got it! You want the public to take your opinion as that of a neutral Nigerian? I think people like Moses should be aware by now that Nigerians are wiser than they were yesterday. Even the _most foolish fool_ cannot be fooled by this misleading tactics of a coward who calls himself Moses. 
When will you people be sincere, at least for once. We should even appreciate NARD for trying to be a bit lenient in her usual insincerity this time. Whenever they are ready to embark on their incessant strike, when you look into the list of their irritating demands, about the first five points will be about the dilapidated state of our facilities and the health sector. Whoever reads may be deceived into believing that they care about others, especially the patients, but what do you see at the end? Immediately the government is able to accede to their selfish and senseless demands, with nothing being done about the state of the facilities, the strike will be gladly called off. It is high time you stopped this because you cannot deceive Nigerians for life. 
 
When you look into a football field and you see a striker from one of the two teams dressed in the jersey of a referee, nobody respects his whistle blowing. People who are not mischievous are always ready to display their identity. I will not call myself what I am not: I am a JOHESU member, a seasoned, sincere and disciplined Medical Laboratory Scientist.
 
Whoever knows Moses should tell him that operation alligator bite is still biting hard. No amount of blackmail or propaganda can stop it. The Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital CMAC, Dr Ovienria Wilson will soon be shown the motor park where he belongs, because we shall do everything legally possible to make sure that justice prevails. Let all MDs/CMDs learn to tolerate others, respect their rights and let the sleeping dog lie. Then I trust the easy-going, peace-loving and always civil JOHESU members will remain calm. 
 
To the good Nigerians; JOHESU is a conglomerate of Unions in the health sector. We are a group of God-fearing and patriotic Nigerians. Please be informed that we are always in your shoes, we can feel your pulse. We are quite aware of the inconveniences this our decision may cause teeming Nigerians who rely on our services. We want you to know that we took this step as the last resort after exhausting all other peaceful means of conflict resolution as some of our issues remained unattended since year 2009. 
 
We welcome neutral, unbiased and objective public opinions. We also rely on the public to please help prevail on the government to be sincere in its dealings with our demands so that the Nigerian health sector can enjoy the much desired industrial peace.
 
Enough is enough.
 
By Oladayo B. Olabampe
Secretary, NUAHP, UCH, Ibadan.
bampebampe@gmail.com

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