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Buhari Returns From 5th Medical Excursion Abroad: Saraki Meets Adewole, Ngige On JOHESU Strike


The Oasis Reporters

May 26, 2018

Niger Republic builds a hospital without air-conditioning but with plenty natural ventilation using home made materials to save energy and reduce costs.
One of the medical equipment installed in the hospital.
Well trained doctors at work.
Hospital wards. Airy, well ventilated and heat absorbing. Using home made but modernized technology that suits the extreme temperatures in the republic.
More of the equipment there, supplied by the Chinese.

Senate president Bukola Saraki in a meeting with Health Minister Isaac Adewole and Labour Minister Chris Ngige on the lingering JOHESU (health workers union) Strike that they seem to have forgotten about while government officials fly abroad at taxpayers expense to treat themselves. Bukola Saraki has no executive powers anyway.


Nigerians have never felt more conned by it’s leadership than the razzmatazz and campaign deception that propelled a non performer like Buhari into power. Adult Nigerians recall the coup speech that announced the military take over by then Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
Then Brig. Sani Abacha had told Nigerians that our hospitals had become “mere consulting clinics”. And Buhari added that “we have no other country except Nigeria. We shall stay here and salvage it together”

It turned out that what the military did was to savage it rather. For before Buhari finished dealing with striking medical doctors, many of them fled Nigeria and started the medical brain drain that now makes almost 30,000 Nigerian doctors and other health workers to be practicing in the United States of America. Tens of thousand others practice in Saudi Arabia, Germany, Britain and several other global destinations.

People believed that Buhari’s second coming, thirty years after his coup might revamp the health sector, but alas things became deeper in rot, such that the Aso Rock clinic that treats the President and his family cannot boast of ordinary pain relief tablets. Mrs Buhari complained about this.
Whenever doctors in England summon our president, he abandons work and rushes to them, completely ignoring the hospitals and health workers at home.

How many presidents of other countries come to Nigeria for medical treatment?
It has not always been so. In the sixties, King Saud and his Royal family used to come to University College Hospital, Ibadan for medicals. With the military destruction of healthcare system in Nigeria and the medical brain drain from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia took Nigeria’s doctors in and built fantastic medical facilities for them. Suddenly, Nigeria’s rulers started visiting Saudi hospitals, from General Abacha to President Umaru Yar’adua.

Meanwhile, our poorer northern neighbor, French speaking Niger Republic has built a low cost specialist hospital using local building materials and stuffing it with first grade medical equipment, according to them, to eliminate the need for medical tourism abroad. They completed it in less than three years, after Buhari had been sworn in in Nigeria, while Nigeria’s President wants to extend the nation’s Railway link to the country, next door to his Daura hometown in Katsina state.

When the cumulative foreign exchange President Buhari has spent on medical vacation is calculated, pray, is it not enough to build at least one referral hospital for himself, family and officials in Nigeria?
Why are our leaders like this?

The University of Ibadan has raised clinical fees for its medical students from the modest amount of less than 20,000 naira to 100,000 naira, leaving many students stranded, because according to them, the federal government has stopped subsidizing them.

President Lula da Silva of Brazil was once critically ill. But he was treated for cancer until recovery in a private hospital run by Lebanese citizens, and guess where, in his country!
Why can’t our president be as patriotic, if not like former president Lula of Brazil, then at least like the President of Niger Republic and build one outstanding hospital in Nigeria?

President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki held a closed-door meeting with Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole and Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige over the strike by health workers that has lingered for so long which has been completely ignored by Buhari.

This was as the Senate chose to intervene in the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and make the nation’s hospitals functional once again.

Saraki, after a meeting with the leadership of JOHESU on Thursday, where he listened to their grievances and demands, decided to meet with Adewole and Ngige to hear their own side of the issue.

While meeting with the JOHESU leadership led by its Chairman, Comrade Biobelemonye Joseph, the President of the Senate, had pledged that the Senate would ensure that the right thing is done
not only to end the strike but to ensure that there is lasting peace and industrial harmony in the nation’s health institutions.

He noted that it is not in the interest of the country to have its hospitals closed while he pledged that the Senate would work with all stakeholders to ensure that the strike is called off.

Saraki said: “Our interest here in the Senate and the National Assembly in general, is to find a solution to this problem. It is not in the interest of the country for us to have our hospitals closed and we must work to ensure they are reopened promptly.

“I have heard your remarks, I will spend sometime to discuss with you and get more details to see how we can put an end to this strike.

“On our own part, we will bring all parties involved together to ensure that where commitments have been made, those who made the commitments honour them.

“The only thing I can assure you is that we will make sure that the right thing is done and that this matter is resolved,” he said.

Yet the executive continues to look the other way from their aircraft window view as they fly out to superb medical facilities abroad built by serious foreign governments while our inept ones do not realize the shame they are bringing to Nigeria and the scorn they heap on them abroad.


Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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