The Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has directed doctors in the state to commence an indefinite sit-at-home protest 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.
In 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 today, (Wednesday), 20th May 2020 from 6 pm.
News Hub Mag! reports that the health workers claimed that the sit-at-home protest is essential since they can no longer assure the safety of their members, following different complains about harassment from police while returning home from work or while going to attend to emergency services.
The association lamented that, whereas the directive from President Muhammadu Buhari is contrary to the actions of the police operatives.
“As a direct result of the conflicting directives of the government and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, the NMA was inundated yesterday (Tuesday, 19th of May, 2020) evening of several cases of harassments and intimidation of doctors and other health-workers by officers and men of the Lagos State Police command.
“The healthcare workers were either resuming duty, returning home, or on-transit to heed an emergency call.
“There was a most disturbing case of an ambulance conveying an injured patient which was prevented from moving to destination while the attending health-workers were harassed and temporarily detained.
“You will recall that this same ugly situation had occurred sometimes in the early phase of the ongoing lockdown/restriction of movement based on similar conflicting directives from the State Commissioner of Police.
“It took the intervention of the Governor of the State, following a petition by the Association, for normalcy to be restored.”
The Lagos NMA further said that until the Government and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu will wish to operationalize the lockdown/restriction of movement directive, vis-à-vis the status of essential workers, NMA has resolved that it is presently unsafe for her members to continue to provide healthcare services under the present confused arrangement.
News Hub Mag! reports that the association also demanded for a written statement, signed by the governor of the state and appropriate Police Authorities with clear terms on the status of essential services, including healthcare services and its providers, which must be publicized in the social and mainstream media and a copy is to be submitted to the secretariat of the association before the stay-at-home protest order is called off.