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Resident Doctors Issue 14-day Strike Notice Amid COVID-19 Crisis

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The Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Saturday said its members would proceed on total and indefinite strike if the federal government failed to address their demands within 14 days.

Resident doctors are medical doctors who work while undergoing training to become specialists in various medical fields. They make up the largest percentage of doctors in tertiary hospitals.

The association announced its decision in a communique issued at the end of its virtual 40th Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) and Scientific Conference.

The communique signed by NARD National President, Sokomba Aliyu, and Publicity Secretary, Egbogu Stanley, was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna.

The NARD 40th OGM was held under the theme: ‘Health inequalities and social determinants of Health in Nigeria.’

NAN reports that the virtual OGM, attended by 74 chapters of the association from across the country, deliberated on issues affecting the nation’s health care system and welfare of its members.

“NARD calls on the federal and state governments to provide adequate personnel protective equipment such as N95 respirators, gloves etc. to all health workers.

“NARD also demands immediate recall of the sacked resident doctors at Jos University Teaching Hospital and payments of their salaries.”

According to the association, 26 resident doctors at the Jos University Teaching Hospital were illegally disengaged without recourse to the law governing Residency training.

“The association also demands for universal implementation of the Residency Training Act in both Federal and State Teaching hospitals.

“NARD demands immediate implementation of the revised hazard allowance, and payment of COVID-19 inducement allowance,” the communique said.

“OGM resolves that urgent steps be taken to ensure that the fate of our members at the State Tertiary Health Institutions be improved through engagement with the various state governments and relevant stakeholders.”

The association enjoined the federal government through the National Assembly to ensure full capture of the residency training funding in the 2021 Appropriation Act.

It also demanded payment of arrears of the consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage to its members at both federal and state tertiary health institutions.

The association condemned what it called “the illegal deductions in salaries” of members by some state governments and demanded immediate refund.

“NARD observes the slashing of salaries of our members at state tertiary health institutions with particular reference to Kaduna state government that cut the salaries of health workers by twenty five percent.”

It also called on security agencies especially in Lagos, Delta and Abuja to stop the harassment and assault of doctors while carrying out their legitimate activities.

“OGM observes non-implementation of the revised hazard allowance, the non-procurement of life insurance, non-payment of the death benefits claims and COVID-19 inducement allowance of doctors in various health institutions.

“NARD observes non-payment of arrears of the consequential adjustment of new minimum wage to some of her members. It also observed with concern, the non-implementation of revised CONMESS and skipping arrears by some state governments in various state tertiary teaching hospitals.”

The NARD noted the shortage of medical staff especially resident doctors in most health institutions across the country and called on the government to address the problem.

The doctor’s threat is coming at a time Nigeria is experiencing an increase in coronavirus cases.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Saturday announced the highest daily figure of confirmed coronavirus cases in Nigeria yet, with 553 new infections recorded.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 9,855.

There are 6,726 active COVID-19 cases in the country as 2,856 people have recovered and have been discharged with 273 deaths recorded.

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Uduaghan Dumps APC, Returns to PDP

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The immediate past Governor of the State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has formally defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party.
Uduaghan re-joined the PDP at his Unit 1, Ward 6, at Abigborodo, his country home, and was accompanied to the venue by thousands of his supporters amid cheering solidarity songs on Monday.
“I am back to join forces with other party greats to strengthen our party, the largest party in Africa -PDP!,” the ex-governor had earlier stated on his Twitter handle.
The return to PDP is coming barely one year after he took a critical decision to join APC on 29 August, 2019, in protest of his alleged maltreatment in PDP.
Uduaghan, who was Delta State Governor for eight years in the build-up to the 2019 elections defected to the APC where he contested and lost the Delta South Senatorial seat in 2019 to incumbent Senator James Manager.
There have been insinuations that the former governor is planning a comeback to the PDP in a bid to boost his chances in 2023 as PDP now fully controlled the South-South region.
Uduaghan met with Governor Ifeanyi Okoya two weeks ago to fine-tune plans to return to PDP, his former base.
He also met with James Ibori, who was also a former governor in Delta State.
Uduaghan was the Governor of Delta State on PDP platform for eight years (2007-2015).
He had earlier served as the State’s Commissioner for Health and later Secretary to the State Government under the administration of Ibori.
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Electoral College Appoints Rate Your Leader Founder, Joel Popoola As Member, Board of Directors

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By Eric Elezuo

The Electoral College, Nigeria, has appointed the Founder, Rate Your Leader, Mr Joel Popoola, into its board of trustees as director to oversee International Mobilisation.

Popoola’s appointment was contained in two letters addressed to the technology entrepreneur and digital democracy campaigner as well as the board members of the college and signed by its Executive Director, Mr Kunle Lawal.

The Electoral College observed that the democracy campaigner, who has made headlines in recent times with reference to his technological innovations and writeups has been a great ally of the college while expressing utmost happiness and pride to have him on the board of the College.

“We are sure the board would be proud with the impact he can bring,” Kunle Lawal noted.

While expressing the best wishes of the College, and acknowledging that Popoola’s appointment is with immediate effect, Mr Lawal added that the award winning techpreneur is ‘valued as an asset addition and most of all for his love for country (Nigeria).’

“I look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship between us all and the expansion of the college,” Lawal stressed.

Responding to his appointment, Popoola noted that the reward for hard work is more work, stressing that the appointment is not just a recognition of his efforts, but an opportunity to do a lot more for humanity.

“I see the appointment to the board of Nigerian Electoral College as not just a recognition of efforts, but an opportunity to do a lot more to raise the bars of the Nigeria’s electoral system and serve humanity for the good,” he said.

It would be recalled that Mr. Popoola was earlier in the month welcomed on board of the UK Tech Nation Founders’ Network as a full fledged member.

Among many other honours trailing his humble contributions to the digitalization of democratic process around the world,  he is an advance member of the Institute of Directors Great Britain & Northern Ireland, and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Also appointed is⁩ Hakeem Condotti, a well seasoned entrepreneur and African player in business and diplomacy. He would serve as Director: External Relations.

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Wike Locks Horns with Amaechi in War of Words at Justice Karibi-Whyte’s Funeral

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday engaged in a verbal fight at the burial of a former Justice of the Supreme Court, Adolphus Karibi-Whyte, in the Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state.

Amaechi, who is the Minister of Transportation, while speaking at the funeral service, lamented what he term the rising insecurity and political intimidation in the state, saying the state was back to the time of Ateke Tom, a former militant leader, who is now the traditional head of Okochiri town in Okrika LGA of the state.

“You have lost your voice. The sage (the late justice) has gone under and nobody is speaking. When I was governor, I gave people voices, but they have blocked those voices.

“Everyone is scared. We are going back to when Ateke held sway. We are going back to the period where we run away from our people. We are back to a period when nobody could speak. But from next year, I will begin to speak, if nobody wants to speak.

“We are all here because we need to bury a man God has blessed. I have stopped travelling because of bad weather, but I told myself I must be here because of Justice Whyte.

“If you knew Justice (Karibi-Whyte) very well, you will know I was close to him. I was one of the few people he mentored,” Amaechi stated.

Wike on his part described the late Karibi-Whyte as an epitome of unshakable integrity, civility and dignity, but noted that comments credited to Amaechi were embarrassing.

Responding to Amaechi, Wike who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Chief Emeka Woke, said the minister had lost touch with developments in the state, adding that since the launching of Operation Sting by his administration, the security situation had improved greatly.

Wike said, “It is unfortunate for Amaechi to come to Kalabari land and accuse former President Goodluck Jonathan of not developing the area six years after he had left office.

“I wonder why the former governor will choose to make such embarrassing remarks at the funeral of late Justice Karibi-Whyte, a man he (Amaechi) claimed to be his mentor.”

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