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Governor Babatunde Fashola has directed that none of the sacked Lagos doctors should be evicted from their quarters. The directive came on the heels of the ejection notice issued by the state Head of Service to the sacked doctors to vacate their quarters by last Friday.
Chief Medical Director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Professor Adewale David Oke, who disclosed this to Vanguard, weekend, said even though the eviction notice was in line with civil service rules, the governor expressly maintained that the doctors should not be evicted from their quarters.
Oke who exonerated the state government from the purported forceful eviction argued that if the doctors vacated their quarters, they did so on their own decision.
He said: “Yes, there was an eviction order but the governor has given another directive which overrides the eviction notice. The doctors should not be evicted. We already bought some padlocks to lock up the place but we could not do it because of the governor’s order. If they are no longer in their quarters, then they left on their own. We only locked up the Association of Resident Doctors’ lounge to avoid invasion of the place by intruders since there was nobody there.“
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, denied involvement in the eviction notice, saying it was only a procedure in civil service.
He said: “Once you are dismissed, there are standard procedures for dismissal and that is what the government is following. Now, when you are dismissed, and if you feel aggrieved, you can appeal. And if you appeal, your appeal is part of the negotiation.”
Asked if the Lagos Tenancy Law would not be applied in the case, he said: “The letter says to hand over all government properties in your possession. I am not sure that government will be that hard to say leave government quarters. In the process of implementing, things like this may also happen. This government is not a wicked government.”
ACN backs govt on sack
Meanwhile, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said the Lagos State government acted responsibly and in accordance with the state’s civil/public service rules in sacking the striking doctors in its employment.
In a statement in Lagos, yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also accused the petulant doctors of flouting industrial laws by declaring the strike that led to their sack without issuing the necessary notice to their employers.
It said they were also guilty of serious misconduct by refusing to answer the queries issued to them to explain their absence without leave from work, adding that the consequences of their action are clearly spelt out in the Civil Service Rules, and that no responsible employer will condone such egregious action from its employees.
He said: “We have waited this long to comment on this issue because we were studying all the details of the situation that led to the strike and the sack. Having concluded our painstaking investigation, we can say without equivocation that the government acted responsibly and in accordance with the necessary rules and regulations.
“Contrary to the misinformation being peddled by some mischievous individuals and groups, the strike that led to the doctors’ strike has nothing to do with their conditions of service, but is related to the desire of a group that wants to continue to hold the government and the people to ransom through incessant strikes over every frivolous issue.
“It is on the basis of this totally new and unrealistic demands that the doctors gave a mere 24-hour notice to embark on a three-day warning strike, and gave no notice at all to embark on their now ill-fated indefinite strike, without worrying about the impact of ther action on the public.
‘’In order words, there is nothing altruistic about the doctors’ strike. It is all about them and them alone. They do not care whether or not the state government can meet overhead or development costs, or whether the hospitals where they work can even be adequately eqipped. What matters is for the ever-elastic demands of the seemingly-insatiable doctors to be met once they are issued. This is unrealistic and untenable, and the doctors must be told in clear terms,’’ ACN said.
The party said it is cheap and uncharitable for the PDP to try to cash in on a serious issue by using such term as ‘fascist’ to describe the doctors’ sack, and challenged the party to say how much the PDP states pay the doctors in their employ and how many doctors each of them has employed.