Health workers ceased activities at the State Specialists Hospital in Ondo town following the non-payment of their five months’ outstanding salaries by the embattled Governor Olusegun Mimiko-led administration.
Professional medical doctors and pharmacists led the aggrieved health workers who gathered at the main gate of the facility of the Specialists Hospital at the heart of the town in protest against the insensitivity of the State government to the plight of the workers.
The protesting health workers refused to attend to patients in critical condition who were hospitalized at the facility of the center while the entrance to the main doors of the wards were locked.
Sources close to SaharaReporters disclosed that the aggrieved workers moved in batches and also shut down the Trauma Centre, Mother and Child Hospital, and the government’s Medial Village Centre in Ondo State while paralyzing activities at the hospitals.
Our correspondent gathered that the protesters were armed with different placards as they chanted solidarity songs and hurled abuses on the Mimiko-led government, accusing it of deliberately denying civil servants their entitlements and wages.
One protesting doctor, Eniola Adebayo, said the aggrieved health workers in the hospital were tired of the empty promises made by the Ondo State government regarding their outstanding salaries.
Dr. Adebayo, who accused the State government of deliberately hoarding workers’ salaries in the State, noted that many of the health workers have been suffering while their families have been languishing due to the non-payment of wages.
“We are tired of this Mimiko’s government. Let him pay our salaries before many of us begin to die. We need funds to take care of our families because some of us now borrow money from friends and colleagues in other States to survive.
“The governor is just not being compassionate to the suffering and plight of workers. Mimiko should tell us the reasons why he is deliberately punishing us by withholding our entitlements, or is he trying to tell us there are no funds to offset all these outstanding wages?
“Life has become unbearable for us due to the recalcitrant character of this Mimiko government. Many people close to him told us the governor is deliberately hoarding salaries, hence the reason for the protest that our members carried out today,” she said.
One of the pharmacists who pleaded anonymity told our correspondent that the protesting health workers threatened to continually boycott their professional duties until the State government is ready to begin a dialogue and pay their outstanding salaries and bonuses.
“We shall continue with the strike until the Mimiko-led government is willing to pay us our entitlements,” he quickly said.
An impeccable source in Ondo town told SaharaReporters that the striking health workers later terminated their protest at the palace of the monarch, the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo, who promised to intervene for the timely payment of their salaries.