The Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) says none of its members was involved in the reported auto crash in Benin, Edo state.
At least 19 people reported to be members of the union were said to have sustained injuries in a road accident on Saturday.
Forty of the health workers were said to be on their way to a function in Auchi when the accident occurred.
However, Florence Ekpebor, JOHESU national secretary, said in a statement that the victims of the accident are “outsourced staff working as cleaners” in University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).
Ekpebor said most of the victims were from companies belonging to the chief medical director of UBTH and managing directors of federal government-owned hospitals.
She described the rumour that its members were involved as a “cheap blackmail by medical doctors for cheap publicity and propaganda”.
“We want to draw the attention of our members across the country that no JOHESU member was involved in the road traffic accident that occurred in Benin, Edo State,” the statement read.
“However, our hearts go to the victims of the road crash as we join in wishing them a quick recovery.
“We also advise NMA to respect life by desisting from propaganda that disrespects the sanctity of man, for the purposes of recruiting public sympathy especially through falsehood and rumours.”
The union further said it had not been served any court order to suspend its industrial action which it commenced on April 17.
“JOHESU leadership feels and empathises with members of the public on the pains they are going through,” it said.
“However, we want to inform the general public that if it is true that there is court order to stop the strike, we are not aware neither has JOHESU been served with any court processes or order to stop the on-going nationwide strike.
“This is just a figment of the imagination of mischief makers, busybodies and interlopers.
“Members of JOHESU do not live in the moon; they are Nigerians who have a sacred duty to provide health services to the sick and the wounded.
“Therefore, they also have mothers, fathers, friends, sons, daughters, cousins, among others, who require medical services at this point in time, but the ugly situation brought about by the insensitivity of the Ministry of Health for fairness in the health sector has brought us to this ugly situation.
“The leadership of JOHESU therefore insists that no amount of intimidation, arm-twisting and harassment will cow us from pursuing our constitutional and fundamental rights to protest and strike.
“Therefore, our members across the federation have been advised to stand firm and fight for the good of our country.
“The ministry of health should be reminded that all over the world no mistreated worker can put in his best.”
By: Jamilah Nasir
The Cable News
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