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NMA STRIKE: Reps Threaten Warrant of Arrest Against Health Minister
Date Posted: 18/Jul/2014
The House of Representatives today threatened to issue warrant of arrest against Minister of health Onyebuchi Chukwu for shunning a rescheduled meeting with the lawmakers to end the ongoing doctors' strike.
This came as the House observed that Chukwu is not showing any commitment toward ending the strike as he failed to attend a meeting with the committee on health which was rescheduled to today from Monday.
Briefing the lawmakers at plenary on the outcome of their meeting with the health stakeholders earlier, chairman of the committee on health Rep Godwin Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta) said from all indications, Chukwu and his officials do not want the doctors' strike to end any time soon.
He said the committee after holding a partial meeting with stakeholders on Monday decided to reschedule it as finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim; Head of Service, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji and Director-General of the Budget Office, Bright Okogu were all absent and did not send any representative.
But at today's meeting which was scheduled for 10:am, the lawmakers waited up till about 11:30, but none of the officials turned up, with only Minister of labour Emeka Wogu, a representative of the SGF and chairman of the Salaries and Wages Commission.
Chukwu who had attended Monday's meeting did not turn up for today's session and did not send any representative, a situation which angered the lawmakers.
Elumelu suggested to the House that Chukwu and the other government officials be re-summoned but that should he fail, the House should invoke its constitutional powers on warrant of arrest.
Similarly, minority whip Samson Osagie suggested that Chukwu should be made to appear before the committee within 24 hours.
However, ruling on the matter, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal directed that Chukwu should expeditiously attend to the committee, otherwise the House would resort to other ways of forcing him to attend.


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