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Doctors Embark on Indefinite Sit-at-Home to Protest Police Harassment

In a press statement jointly signed by the State Chairman of the NMA, Dr Saliu Oseni and the Secretary, Dr Ramon Moronkola, the sit-at-home order is expected to begin today, (Wednesday), 20th May 2020 from 6 pm.

The medical doctors said that it was no longer safe for their members to continue to provide healthcare services under the present confused arrangement. They said the development became necessary as a result of the numerous complaints of police harassment from their members who were either going home after close of work, and some on transit to heed to emergency calls at the various hospitals.

“As a direct result of the conflicting directives of the government and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, the NMA was inundated yesterday (Tuesday, 19th of May, 2020) evening of several cases of harassments and intimidation of doctors and other health-workers by officers and men of the Lagos State Police command. “The healthcare workers were either resuming duty, returning home, or on-transit to heed an emergency call.

“There was a most disturbing case of an ambulance conveying an injured patient which was prevented from moving to destination while the attending health-workers were harassed and temporarily detained.

“You will recall that this same ugly situation had occurred sometimes in the early phase of the on-going lockdown/restriction of movement based on similar conflicting directives from the State Commissioner of Police. “It took the intervention of the Governor of the State, following a petition by the Association, for normalcy to be restored.” The release said.

The Lagos NMA further insist that until the Government and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu wish to operationalize the lockdown/restriction of movement directive, vis-à-vis the status of essential workers, NMA has resolved that it is presently unsafe for her members to continue to provide healthcare services under the present confused arrangement.

The umbrella of doctors in Lagos state further demanded a written statement, signed by Government and the appropriate Police Authorities, with clear terms on the status of essential services, including healthcare services and its providers even as it said that that the statement must be issued and advertised in the social and mainstream media, as well as a copy submitted to the Secretariat of the Lagos State Branch of NMA before they will call off the sit–at–home order.

By Kunle O. Sanyaolu 

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