No fewer than about 300 Nurses under the aegis of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives,(NANNM) drawn from the 25 local government areas of Delta State Yesterday besieged the premises of the local government Service Commission in Asaba in the early hours protesting the removal of Executive Secretaries from handling the primary health care (PHC) Affairs in the local government areas.
The protesters armed with placards bearing different inscriptions, also demanded for the reversal of certain actions and decision taken by the state government with particular reference to the administration of the primary Health centers (PHCs) in the state.
The angry Nurses alleged that the Action and policies of government have rendered them irrelevant in the administration of PHCs with counter to the demands of the Nursing and medical profession.
Part of the inscriptions in their placards reads; “Commissioner for health, What did we do to deserve this treatment? Review the appointment of executive secretaries, let the executive secretaries stop signing pay vouchers of PHC departments, They are staff of the state government, executive secretaries should stop oppressing Nurses, our right has been taken away from us”.
Speaking to Journalists during the protest, the secretary of the Nursing Association in Delta State Mr Frank Okoh said that all Nurses in the state were currently suffering Over the running of the PHCs in the local government areas, adding “we have written several letters but nobody listening to us, If we remain like this, there will be crisis, We are being oppressed at different levels, we are expressing our fears over the number the one room policy is being implemented”.
Okoh said that Nurses in the state were being relegated to the background as the executive secretaries in the Council area have taken over the PHCs in the Councils alleging that the Secretaries were being supported by some power brokers within the corridors of the state government.
The protesting Nurses while condemning in strong terms causualization of Nurses in the PHCS, said that it was against the rules of labour to causaulize Nurses and pay them N30,000 Monthly and demanded the review of duties of the office of the executive secretaries, relocation of the executive secretaries from local government Secretariats and that they should stop harrassing the nurses .
But the state Chairman, local government Service Commission (LGSC) Mr Olumami Oyibo in a swift reaction told Journalists that the state government was looking into the protest of the nurses, adding that they will be treated without baise as the message will be passed to the state governor Dr lfeanyi Okowa.
He said “the governor is prepared to look into all the issue raised by the nurses, the issue of executive Secretaries will be looked into, and analysis will be made and appropriate recommendations will also be made and forwarded to the governor for Consideration and implementation”.
Also, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi ONonye reaffirmed the state government’s Commitment to ensuring the Nurses are giving their due adding that the protest was not necessary rather dialogue with the government to forge a common way forward.
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