Following an ill-advised order from UNTH Management threatening to sack/replace house officers who are bonafide members of Association of Resident Doctors, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozall, Enugu State (ARD UNTH) if they fail to resume work by Monday, 2nd November, 2015 in a notice dated 28th October, 2015, with REF: UNTH/BM/82/S.2/VOL and signed by Bar S. Ike Nkume on behalf of UNTH Management, the Executives of ARD UNTH in a proactive step to save the members (house officers) the evil claws of the UNTH Management, yesterday dragged the UNTH Management to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Suit No: NICN/EN/100/2015 praying amongst many other things for an order of the Court restraining the Director of Administration, Barr S. Ike Nkume and the Chief Medical Director, Dr C. C. Amah and their agents/cronies from victimizing, sacking or replacing any of the Members of ARD UNTH in the course of the present industrial dispute which they caused in its entirety.
It should be noted that soon after the threat was issued on Wednesday, 28thOctober, 2015 and announced on Radio Nigeria, Coal City FM at different times, ARD UNTH promptly responded in a letter dated 29th October, 2015, reminding the Director of Administration (DA) of UNTH that ARD UNTH is in an industrial dispute with UNTH Management and that house officers are fully members of ARD UNTH and have participated in all our struggles. We also made it clear that the membership of house officers in ARD UNTH is protected amongst many other laws by;
1. Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which has not been contravened by any Law in Nigeria and beyond;
2. A circular from the Federal Ministry of Health dated 4th July, 2014 with Ref No: C2262T/19 signed on behalf of the Honourable Minister by the Permanent Secretary Mr Linus Awute, conferring freedom on house officers to belong to ARD.
3. Article 3, Section 1, subsection 1 of the ARD UNTH Constitution.
ARD UNTH was compelled to seek refuge in the Court of Law because of the antecedents of the UNTH Management as presently constituted in priding and indulging in all forms of illegal activities ranging from civil to financial, as such we are fearful that they may refuse to heed to the voice of reason and common sense as contained in our response letter and proceed with their planned illegal action. It is in the interest of the general public and patients of UNTH that we have taken this proactive step to prevent further degeneration and deepening of the present crisis which will definitely culminate in further prolongation of the present strike action, should they be allowed to take the deadly step.
ARD UNTH also expressed so much disappointment that the DA of UNTH, Bar S. Ike Nkume, who rose through the ranks of Civil Service in the manner he did would allow himself to be used for such a regrettable move. We are appalled that the DA who was supposed to have made moves to settle the dispute, being part of the top management team, have not only withdrawn himself from the peace process, but chose to be used to fuel the crisis.
This whole failed move by the UNTH Management may have succeeded in eroding whatever confidence/trust we may have left in the UNTH Management considering that peace moves have already started before they launched this attack, an insult to our collective sensibility.
We pray the general public to bear with us as we fight for the liberation of our dear hospital, UNTH, in the best interest of the patients of UNTH and also for the welfare and basic rights of the doctors in UNTH.
Dr Ugwuoke Aloy Ifedinso President
Dr Ndiokwelu Chibuzo
Dr Chukwuma C. Oraegbunam
Public Relations Officer