The Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, has pleaded with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to call off their strike.
Ngige, who before now had said he could not continue to waste his time meeting with the striking doctors, on television at the weekend, pleaded with the doctors.
“I want to appeal to NARD for them to reconsider their position: get back to work tomorrow or next and then come back again for discussions,” Mr Ngige pleaded.
“We have so many things to discuss.”
Despite the National Industrial Court ruling that they should return to work, the resident doctors had yet to call off the strike.
Industrial Court Abuja ordered the resident doctors to call off the strike but they appealed the judgement.
According to the minister, his effort is to protect the health sector, pointing out that his relations and children are also medical practitioners.
“I have nephews who are resident doctors. I have three of them in the east — at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching hospital, UNTH Enugu, Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu. I have so many of them,” said Ngige.
“I have my son — a house officer. I have my daughter, who is joining housemanship in October.”
He added, “I have a son, God willing, who is going to graduate again in October. I cannot destroy the profession. But I have to protect the profession too if it is going to be vandalised.”
The resident doctors had embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike on August 2, demanding the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding they signed with the federal government in March 2021.