In Kogi Govt denies plan to replace striking doctors

Dr Saka Audu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja that the those peddling the rumour were mischief makers.

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Governor Yahaya Bello play

Governor Yahaya Bello

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The Kogi Government said on Monday it had no plan to sack the 163 medical doctors in its pay roll.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lokoja that the those peddling the rumour were mischief makers.

Audu said that, rather, the government would recruit 230 health personnel, to complement existing ones.

“The rumour of planned replacement of striking doctors is an erroneous impression emanating from trouble peddlers and mischief makers,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the Kogi chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) recently accused the government of planning to recruit fresh doctors to replace those on strike.

The NMA Chairman, Dr Godwin Tijani, had in a statement alleged that Ministry of Health would conduct the recruitment on June 19, to replace doctors on strike.

However, the commissioner dismissed the statement as misleading.

“Not only do we find such an assertion preposterous and mischievous, but one wonders what anyone stands to gain from the spread of such rumour."

“Our drive is to ensure quality healthcare delivery for the people of Kogi; we will never be deterred by the criticisms of the critics and the mischief of trouble peddlers. A clear conscience fears no accusation,’’ Audu said.

The commissioner explained that the State Executive Council gave approval in January to recruit all categories of health personnel.

He listed those to be recruited to include Doctors, Pharmacists, Medical Laboratory Scientists, Pharmacy Technicians, Nurses, Health Record Officers and Technicians, as well as Medical Laboratory Assistants.

NAN reports that medical doctors in the state had resumed the strike they suspended on May 13, accusing the government of reneging on an earlier agreement with them.