Reports have it that the Lagos State branch of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has directed doctors in the state to proceed on an indefinite sit – at – home order to protest what they described as conflicting directives by the government and incessant police harassment on medical doctors and other health workers in the state.
According to a press statement jointly signed by the state chairman of the NMA, Dr. Saliu Oseni and the secretary, Dr.Ramon Moronkola, the sit – at – home order is expected to begin on Wednesday, 20th May, 2020 from 6pm.
The medical doctors maintained that it was no longer safe for their members to continue to provide health care services under the present confused arrangement.
They said the development became necessary as a result of the numerous complaints of police harassment from their members who were either going home after close of work, or some on transit to head for emergency calls at the various hospitals.
They lamented that, whereas the directives by President Muhammadu Buhari, through the presidential taskforce of Covid – 19, was clear on the exemption of essential workers including doctors and other health workers, the commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, has been issuing conflicting directives that essential workers, including doctors and other health workers were not exempted.
Just as we wish to appreciate the plight of these doctors and other health service workers, we want to state very clearly that the directives by the president supersedes any other directive.
Apart from the doctors, many journalists in the course of their duties have also been molested by security personnel.
We want to believe that Mr. President was equivocal in his directives that those on essential duties including doctors and journalists should be allowed to do their jobs.
By turning around to give counter directives is not only mischievous but also unacceptable to Nigerians.
Just as the work of the security personnel is important that equally includes doctors and journalists.
We therefore urge the Police and other security agencies to obey President Buhari’s directive by allowing those on essential duties to have free access to their work places.