STRIKING members of the Imo State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) have called off their two-month-long industrial action after meeting with Governor Emeka Ihedioha and reaching a deal.
Since April, the doctors had been on strike following the non-implementation of the agreement reached with the immediate past administration of Governor Rocha Okorocha. Their agreement with the state governor had included a deal on increased funding for the health sector, full payment of their salaries, as well as the payment of their three-month arrears.
When Governor Okorocha refused to meet the demands after the elections, they decided to embark on industrial action. However, yesterday, the chairman of the Imo State chapter of the NMA, Dr Duruewuru Kyrian said that they decided to call off their strike after meeting Governor Ihedioha at Government House in Owerri.
Dr Kyrian said: “At the meeting, we had tabled our grievances which include the rehabilitation of the access road to the Imo State University Teaching Hospital in Umuna Orlu, the payment of 100% salaries of medical doctors in the employment of the state and the payment of our three-months of arrears. He also agreed to provide more funding and re-equipping of the state General Hospitals.”
Since Governor Ihedioha assumed office on May 29,he has been having to deal with matters relating to the previous administration. Yesterday, Governor Okorocha called on him to appreciate the fact that he is a civilian governor and not a military administrator, so should minimise the rate at which he gives ultimatums and issues threats.
Adding that Governor Ihedioha was only preparing the grounds towards squandering the N42.5bn he left in the state government account, Governor Okorocha said his successor no plan for the development of the state. Since assuming office, Governor Ihedioha has complained about the state of the road contracts awarded, bemoaned the state in which Government House was left and one of the tourist structures Governor Okorocha erected has been pulled down.
Governor Okorocha said, “On Tuesday, June 4, Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State said his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha operated from a bush bar in Government House, which he said was an eyesore and that is the reason he has decided to operate from outside at the moment. He had earlier described the entire Government House as a decayed place and from all indications, Chief Ihedioha has no programme for Imo people.
“He appears stranded since May 29, when he took over, which is why he has never made any policy statement or any comment associated with governance. He has been threatening fire and brimstone and trying to incite Imo people against Okorocha, but has met a brick wall.
“He has come with the known Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) style of giving flimsy excuses as a prelude to wasteful expenditure. The Government House Chief Ihedioha is labouring in vain to run down is the same one of note that front row media practitioners in the country had visited at one time or the other and made complimentary remarks and is the same Government House most Imo people have also been to.
“We want to say again that the Government House Okorocha handed over to Governor Ihedioha was brand new with ultra-modern structures, unlike the ghetto the PDP administrations had operated from for 12 years. He is also fond of saying I will do this I will do that but the government is not his private property, so he should be advised on certain democratic ethos.”