Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Strike: Nigerian doctors must stop competing with God, says Ngige

Health minister Chris Ngige said Nigerian doctors must not misuse their God-given opportunity to save lives with incessant industrial actions.

• August 12, 2021
Labour minister Chris Ngige (Credit: Punch Newspaper)
Labour minister Chris Ngige (Credit: Punch Newspaper)

The Minister of Labour Chris Ngige has urged striking Nigerian doctors to be humble and stop competing with God, lamenting incessant strike by health workers. 

National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) called an indefinite nationwide strike on August 2 to press home their demand for the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding they signed in March 2021.

The MOU contained issues bothering on the welfare and other issues affecting the doctors.

Mr Ngige, who last friday said he cannot continue to waste his time meeting with striking doctors, said God gave doctors power to save lives and doctors must not compete with God but discharge their duties with humility. 

“We don’t create lives, God creates. We only preserve people’s lives through the act of God. In doing so, God has given us some powers and those powers are his own to create. 

“But there is something God does not want, God does not want when he gives you powers you use it to try to say that you are like him or you are competing with him.

“God loves you to do that which he has asked you to do; to use that power with humility,” Mr Ngige said. 

Speaking on Thursday at the 2nd Summit of Medical Elders Forum (MEF) held in Abuja, Mr Ngige said the medical profession is in great danger and doctors must learn to be humble and not play God while discharging their duties.

“At no time in the history of medical association am I seeing our association and our profession in danger as I am seeing now.

Many people will not see it but from where I am sitting and standing, I can see danger ahead,” he said. 

The minister lamented incessant strikes by Nigerian medical doctors, saying “Doctors should ask themselves questions; why is it that it is when your colleagues are in government that you go on the greatest number of strikes.

“Some of these colleagues were Presidents, Secretary Generals of NMA and even NARD. Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu, Dr Isaac Adewole faced plenty of strikes, since our government came I have consolidated four strikes.

“Something is wrong. We must start by telling ourselves the truth,” he added.

Since Mr Buhari assumed office in 2015, health workers have gone on strike on different occasions, while Mr Buhari has spent close to 200 days away from Nigeria to attend to his medical needs in London.

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