By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
Respite appears to be in sight for Nigerians as striking resident doctors and the federal government on Wednesday returned to the negotiation table that may put an end to the prolonged strike.
Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, confirmed to a National Industrial Court Judge that his clients have agreed to meet with the government on the dispute that led to the strike with a view to finding a common ground.
The senior lawyer who appeared before Justice Bashar Alkali in respect of the suit the federal government instituted against the doctors told the Judge that a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed today by the doctors and agents of the federal government.
This was after the government and the doctors had argued over the contempt charges filed against the doctors.
Justice Alkali expressed delight at the resolution to go back to the negotiation table, and pleaded with the two parties to place national interest above other interests in the fresh efforts to broker peace.
The Judge subsequently fixed Friday September 17 for the parties to report back on the resolution of the dispute.
Falana, in an interview later, said that the strike action may be laid to rest once the federal government and his clients iron out their differences amicably
“There is an agreement that was not signed by our client. We’ve studied the agreement and we have advised our client that since there is a clause in it that nobody shall be penalized or sanctioned for participating in the industrial action, we believe that there should be no inhibition in signing the agreement trusting that there would be good faith on the path of the government so that we can put this matter behind us.”
“So we want to be on our way to go and sign our aspects of the agreement and we are hopeful that a common ground will be taken today”
Resident doctors in the country have been on a nationwide strike action to back up their demand for better remuneration and improvement in the hospital facilities.