FASHOLA IS NOT JUSTIFIED!
It is a common saying that: Democracy is the government of the people for the people, by the people. It is common but it is the bitter truth. What is the essence of a government that deprives her people of its dividends? What is the usefulness of a government that does not provide for the basic amenities of the people? What is the importance of a government that will make 788 doctors homeless in a night without a prior notice? Do I here you call that kind of a government democracy? It must be a ‘crazy demo’ as professed by the late Nigerian artist: Dagrin.
During Fashola’s first term as governor of Lagos State, he received plaudits from far and near about his sudden transformation of the state, a state that was plagued by several anomalies turned overnight to be a London in Nigeria. Sincerely speaking I respect his intellectualism; I admire his demeanour and his immense contributions to the rapid development of Lagos State. Inasmuch as Fashola’s achievements are laudable, yet his sacking of 788 doctors is not tenable by a government that is driven by the passion to cater for the needs of the masses.
According to the doctors, the bone of contention was the non-payment of Consolidated Medical Salary Scale that was approved by the Federal government. The doctors want the state government to enact the salary scale, the government refused and they decided to sing the song that gives them dancing shoes; industrial action. It is imperative for you to know that the sacking of the doctors while on strike is a violation of the Trade Dispute Act.
The sacking of 788 doctors in a single swoop when patients are lying critically ill on the sick bed calls to question the compassion the government has for the masses. The case becomes more pathetic due to the fact that 788 homes were dumped into the abyss of unemployment, all in one night! You would ask why LASG forced the doctors out of their official quarters. It simply makes no sense because this is a pure nonsense.
Furthermore, it becomes saddening when you discover that among the sacked doctors are veterans in the professorial cadre of the medical profession, world renowned consultants and many more. I wondered where he would get a suitable replacement for these doctors; this would cause a massive brain drain of doctors in Lagos. This is not ethical for the prospect of the health sector of Lagos state. If Fashola continues this way he might lose the support of his fans and those who gave him mandate because last year he also increased the tuition fees of Lagos State University by more than 100%.
In the courtroom of public opinion, Raji Fashola has failed and let down the masses with this highly unprecedented move. In 2008, in his speech to Eko Club International, which was on a medical mission to Lagos State, Fashola had said: “I recommend to all Nigerians in the Diaspora, the time to come back home is now”. They heard the clarion call and came back home, I guessed he must have forgotten those words because his recent actions does not depict a man who is on a medical mission to save the masses. Sacking 788 doctors in a single swoop has been the largest dismissal in the history of any developing nation. Therefore, Fashola is not justified.
FASHOLA IS JUSTIFIED!
“PRIMUM NON NOCERE”
The quote above is the fundamental statement in any oath taken by those in medical practice of any nation of the world. The quote simply translates to “FIRST, DO NO HARM”. The Hippocratic Oath is the binding force for all in the medical practice and put the life of the patient before anything else. The Oath taken by Nigerian Doctors has a portion that goes thus: “do everything possible to preserve human life”.
The long Saga between The Lagos state government and the Medical Guild over salary increase has battered the Medical Profession. It has brought about a drain in the Medical Profession. The way these doctors go on industrial actions has removed morality from the highly revered profession. Masses who believe Fashola has taken a dictatorial approach don’t have the Total picture of the situation at hand.
Did you know that these doctors gave a 24 hour Notice before going on a 3 day warning strike? This is against the Law.
Did you know that the government queried these Doctors, and they never responded to the query? This is also against the Law.
Did you know that they embarked on their indefinite strike without prior notice, which is also against industrial law? This particularly is inhumane and led to the death of many patients.
Did you know that the government employed about 100 doctors just to save lives? This is a more humane perspective.
Did you know that since 2008 till date [Under Fashola], Lagos Doctors have had their salary doubled? This has made them the highest paid Doctors in any state government by far? Little wonder why no state supported the doctors in solidarity struggle.
Did you know that a fresh graduate from the University in the Medical Profession known as house officers go home with a N174, 000 per month, without some allowances?
Did you know that Lagos state Consultant receive N802, 000 in 30 days, excluding teaching and some other allowances? This gives them a take home pay of about [N1, 000, 000] a million Naira per month.
Yet these Doctors still embark on strike action for a higher pay, forsaking their Hippocratic Oath. In my own Lingua Franca this is sheer GREED on the Doctors part.
I beg to disagree that the Fashola’s administration did not take any dictatorial action, but a lawful one. To start with, these doctors would be jailed for lying on Oath if the case is peddled towards that perspective. Also, these doctors are also guilty if industrial laws are brought into the picture. For me, Fashola was being merciful by just sacking them. If I were Fashola, I would sack them and sue them for lying on Oath of service to humanity and also for faulting industrial laws which led more loss of life than the number reported in the Dana Air Crash.
My Lords in this courtroom, I propose that Fashola is justified to have sacked them and as a SAN should have gone further to sue them for Damages. Correct me if am RIGHT.
This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. Is the Fashola Justified?
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