The Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association will proceed on a sit-at-home strike from 6pm on Wednesday.This is as a result of alleged cases of harassments and intimidation of doctors and other health-workers by Officers and Men of the Lagos State Police command.In a statement made available to our Correspondent on Wednesday, the Chairman, Dr Saliu Oseni insisted the sit-at-home will be indefinite until the State Government and the Lagos commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu are clear on how they wish to operationalize the lockdown/restriction of movement directive as it relates to essential service and service providers, including healthcare services and doctors. Oseni further stated that asides that, the healthcare workers will resume duty only when, ” 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, should be issued, advertised in the social and mainstream media, and a copy submitted to the Secretariat of the Lagos State Branch of NMA.”The Lagos NMA noted that despite the directives of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhamadu Buhari, through the Presidential Taskforce on COVID 19, was clear on the exemption of essential workers including doctors and other health-workers from the ongoing lockdown/movement restrictions, CP Odumosu gave conflicting directives to his men.”As a direct result of the conflicting directives of the government and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, the Lagos State branch of Nigerian medical Association (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 ongoing 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.”Meanwhile, the Nigeria police Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba has said in a statement that the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed A. Adamu has directed all Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police and Commands Commissioners of Police to exempt all essential workers whilst enforcing the restriction orders.Among the essential workers are the Medical Personnel, Firefighters, Ambulance Services, Journalists, among others.”They are exempted from the restriction of movement associated with both the partial lockdown and the national curfew across the Federation,” the statement reads.
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