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Ogun doctors fire back at Gov. Abiodun for saying they’re irresponsible

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OGUN, Nigeria – Resident doctors at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, Ogun State have reacted to a statement credited to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, wherein he said he was disappointed in the doctors for “irresponsibly demanding wage increase from him.”

In a viral video, OgeneAfrican reported that Governor Abiodun said he has done everything to satisfy the doctors, yet they chose to embark on strike at a time they should be saving lives, saying money should not be their priority this time.

Abiodun also said they were politically sponsored, adding that he would not be subject to anybody’s blackmail.

In a reaction on Monday, the General Secretary of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), OOUTH, Dr Tope Osundara, said Governor Abiodun’s statement is appalling, unfair, unjust and unwarranted.

Osundara said he should not have allowed his emotion to influence his actions on their demands and agitations.

“He is a man with emotions. I understand whenever emotions are flared; you can begin to say whatsoever. But for the governor to say ARD doctors in OOUTH are irresponsible, that’s a blow below the belt. It is very much appalling and unfair. It is unjust and very much unwarranted. In this situation, I think it is necessary for us to operate outside the sphere of emotional influence,” he said.

In an interview on radio, Osundara debunked the claim by Abiodun that the doctors are asking for wage increase, rather, he said they were asking the state government to pay them the adequate amount due to them as being paid to their colleagues in other states.

“He (Gov Abiodun) was even saying we are irresponsible to have requested for wage increase. We have not requested for wage increase. That is a misconception. It is false reality and I don’t expect the governor to say that. In all our letters, we didn’t tell him to increase our salary,” the doctor said.

Osundara also denied that the OOUTH resident doctors signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ogun State government over their demands.

“The minimum wage has not been paid, but there’s a memorandum of understanding signed by Ogun Ogun State government and the NLC that it will be paid. That’s the same thing we are asking for. I don’t think a government that so much car and show concerns for his people, especially at this time, should do otherwise.

On their salaries, Osundara alleged that the government pay other workers in the state when it is due, but treat them differently.

“In April, they paid all the workers in Ogun State that month, but we received our salaries around the 11th or 12th of May. In May again, other workers in Ogun state have received their salaries. We are in the 1st of June and we have not received our salary. We are not on Gov Abiodun’s priority list,” he alleged.

Contrary to Gov Abiodun’s claim, Osundara said doctors working at the state’s COVID-19 isolation centres are being owed allowances.

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