Residents of Enugu metropolis have accused the striking resident doctors at the State University Teaching Hospital, Parklane, of employing blackmail as a tool for seeking industrial gain during an era of disease pandemic.
According to them, the ongoing strike by the doctors is a ploy to intimidate and arm-twist the state Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, into paying them jumbo salaries.
The metropolitan residents, under the umbrella of Enugu Urban Residents Association, raised the allegation at a press conference in Enugu on Monday.
During the press conference chaired by their President, Mr. Samuel Okafor, prayed the doctors to immediately suspend the 11 days strike for the sake of human lives.
Bearing various placards with inscriptions to drive home their message, the group accused the doctors of being insensitive to the plight of the people.
The residents also reminded the doctors of the downward slide in the economy of the nation which they said has made it even more difficult to pay the 100 percent CONMESS being canvassed by the Resident Doctors.
Okafor said: “Where do they think that Ugwuanyi’s government will get fund to pay them now? How? Have they forgotten that Ugwuanyi’s government on assumption of office in 2015 was faced with a recessed economy that nearly shut down governance in Nigeria?
“Since then, coupled with the crashed price of crude oil globally, the business of governance has continued to suffer adequate funding.
“This was unlike 2011-2015 when price of crude was consistently between 100 dollars and 110 dollars per a barrel.”
The Enugu residents stressed that in the event the doctors remain recalcitrant, the state government should immediately commence contempt proceedings against the doctors who were earlier embargoed by the industrial court from embarking on industrial action.
They also suggested that the state government should immediately employ fresh doctors to make up for the shortfall created by the striking Resident Doctors.