Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has asked the workers of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri (FMC), to call off their two-month old strike and go back to work.
The workers, who had been on strike since late April 2015, had demanded among other things the sack of the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Angela Uwakwem before they would call off the strike, a development that had so far led to the closure of the Medical Centre.
speaking when he met with the workers of the centre recently, Okorocha said he would take stringent steps to ensure that their demands were met.
He lamented that the lingering strike action had denied Imo people in particular and other Nigerians in general who would have liked to get some medical attention or services at the centre the opportunity of doing so.
Okorocha appealed to them to go back to their duties and assured the workers that he would channel their demands to the appropriate quarters in Abuja, since according to him, two mistakes could not make a right.
The governor added that closing the hospital for almost two months now could only be seen as a disservice to the people of the state and other Nigerians who make use of the centre to meet their health challenges.
In his words, “my directives and my appeal is that you all go back to work while I do everything within my capacity and with the government to rectify these issues of your choice. This is my stand on this matter, and that is what I will plead and ask you the good citizens of Nigeria, and Imo state particularly to abide, for the sake of the sick ones and those who are dying.”
The workers who spoke through one Mr. Ibe Uchenna had insisted that the Medical Director, Dr. Mrs. Angela Uwakwem must be removed because they had accused her of corruption and high handedness.
They also complained that most of the entitlements they ought to have been paid including promotion arrears, uniform arrears, among others had not been paid.