Health Minister Must Resign – Labour Declares

Dr Osagie Ehanire – State Minister Health

SAN FRANCISCO, January 26, (THEWILL) – Organised Labour unions in the country have called for the resignation of the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, accusing him of working against government policy to protect whistle blowers who expose corruption in the country.

This was declared by leaders of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Abuja when they led members of organised Labour to picket the Federal Ministry of Health over the reinstatement of the Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Dr. Angela Uwakem, who is currently been tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Comrade Ayuba Wabba, President of the NLC also called for the reinstatement of over 200 workers of the hospital whose names was delisted from the IPPIS on the order of the Medical Director declaring that organised Labour will continue to occupy the facility until the Minister, who supervises the Federal Medical Centres, is fired.

“We will occupy this office until the Federal Government moves in and until the whistle blowers whose names have been removed from the pay roll are recalled because the whistle blowers are also the people that will testify in court,” he said.

“The document has made it very clear that they reported this case, investigation have gone on and she has been charged officially to court and she has hired a senior Advocate of Nigeria with government money. Is that not a contradiction?”

Speaking in the same vein, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Bobboi Bala Kaigama said they want the minister to resign because he is deeply involved in the heart of corruption.

“They say he who covers corruption is corrupt. So today, we stand to march against corruption. We start this sometime last year and we are also going to declare another day to work against corruption of February,” he said.

“We have started this and it will never stop. If any officer, elected or appointed feels he or she wants to corruptly enriched himself, we are prepare to follow you anywhere until there is a change in that person and the country.”

Also speaking at the protest, President, Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Josiah Biobelemoye said that there was a rumour that it was President Muhammadu Buhari that ordered that the alleged corrupt CMD of Owerri should not be relieved of her appointment.

“But we have found out it was not true, Mr President was not even aware of the whole issue concerning Dr Uwakem,” he said.

“We want to plead with Mr President that even if he had said such a thing, it could be that he was not given the proper brief of the situation of the FMC, Owerri.

“If we all want the Federal Ministry of Health to succeed in the fight against corrupt in the Public Service, the rules must be obey.”