Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM


The strike  should not be limited to a Stay-at-Home Action but include a Series of Mass Action and a link with the state striking nurses and midwives to build a coalition for the actualization of demands

The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights,  CDWR, Oyo state branch, welcomes the decision of the members and leadership of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, MAHWUN Oyo State chapter to embark on 7-day warning strike following the failure of Seyi Makinde-led government to attend to the demands of the union within  a 14-Day ultimatum earlier issued. The demands of the union include the implementation of the new national hazard allowance for health professionals; implementation of teaching allowance for members who involve in the training of interns and students on clinical and research postings and the adjustment of CONHESS table for members in the service of Oyo State.

We of the CDWR support all these  demands of the health workers and call on the state government to accede to the demands of all of the aggrieved workers across the state. We equally note that these demands like  those of the striking state nurses and midwives as well as workers in the state-owned tertiary institutions who recently suspended a 3-day warning strike are indication of the fact that the issues affecting Oyo state workers are enormous and far beyond the usual propaganda often made by Makinde-led government around mere monthly payment of salary. It further underscores our consistent position in the CDWR that Makinde-led government is never and far from being called a workers’ friendly.

No worker-friendly government will allow itself to be served an ultimatum on issue that borders on the welfare of its workers let alone watches them embarking on a strike without attending to their demands. It is almost a month now that  nurses and midwives across the state owned health institutions have been on strike without having any of their demands addressed. We of the CDWR condemn this. It is an height of insensitivity on the side of Makinde-led government  to the plight of ordinary people who require the service of the striking health workers. We hold this  kind of  anti-worker attitude of Makinde-led government largely responsible for the lingering shortage of nurses and other health workers in the state. It is important to state that most nurses and other health workers relocate out of the country largely because of relatively poor pay and working conditions.

Going by this background, it is obvious that the continuous neglect suffered by the nurses union and its demands despite being in strike for almost a month, is an indication that just a sit at home strike is not enough to build up pressure required to prevail on Makinde-led government to meet the demands of the striking workers. A concerted and determined struggle of nurses and Midwives in a series of mass action with the active participation of other workers across the state and the general public in solidarity will be required to prevail on the Makinde-led government before all the demands  could be acceded to.

It is in the light of this important lesson, we call on the state leadership of the health workers union not to limit their 7-day warning strike to just a sit at home but to immediately commence mobilization of both their members and general public in preparation for a possible mass action to build more public support for the strike. We equally call on both the leadership of nurses and health workers unions to immediately form a broader platform of coalition to build enough pressure required to prevail on Makinde-led government to attend to all their demands. This should also include a mass production and circulation of mobilisation materials like posters and leaflets to sensitise both their members and general public on the basis for the strike with an appeal for their support.

The state leadership of the NLC and TUC must also be ready to organise a statewide solidarity action in order to strengthen both the health workers including the nurses and midwives  with a view to force Makinde-led government to accede to their demands.

Abiodun Bamigboye (Abbey Trotsky)

CDWR State Coordinator

E-mail: [email protected]