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Suspend your strike, go back to work, court orders resident doctors

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By Ajuma Edwina Ameh

After about 46 days of industrial action, the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) was on Friday ordered by the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja to call off its strike.

Persecondnews recalls that NARD began a nationwide industrial action since August 2, 2021 to press home its demands.

The demands include unpaid salaries, benefits to families of members that lost their lives to COVID-19 pandemic and hazard allowances, improved conditions, and failure to domesticate Medical Residency Training (MRT) Act 2017 in states, among others.

The court order followed a suit filed by the federal government challenging the legality of the strike.

Persecondnews also recalls that the court had in a ruling on August 23, ordered all the parties to “suspend all forms of hostilities”, pending determination of the suit, after the federal government threatened to invoke the no-work-no-pay policy against the Resident Doctors following their refusal to return to work.

The federal government alongside the Federal Ministry of Health, had insisted that resident doctors embarked on the strike without proper notice as provided by the extant Strike laws, arguing that members of NARD, being “essential services providers”, were prohibited by law from embarking on strike.

In his ruling on Friday, Justice Bashir Alkali, ordered NARD to suspend the action “with immediate effect” after hearing from all the parties involved in the matter.

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