The Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association has directed its members to sit at home from 6 pm today, Wednesday, May 20, 2020. This is to protest the harassment of health workers on essential duty by law enforcement personnel trying to enforce the curfew imposed by the Federal Government.
The NMA gave the stay-at-home directive in a statement signed by its Chairman, Dr Saliu Oseni, and Secretary, Dr Ramon Moronkola on Wednesday.
The doctors accused police officers in Lagos of acting contrary to the directives of the Federal Government on lockdown order.
The statement read:
“We have observed that despite the directives of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhamadu Buhari, through the Presidential Taskforce on COVID 19, which was clear on the exemption of essential workers including doctors and other health workers from the ongoing lockdown/movement restrictions, (but) the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, has been issuing conflicting directives on social and mainstream media to the effect that essential workers, including doctors and other health workers, are NOT exempted.
“As a direct result of the conflicting directives of the government and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, the Lagos State Branch of Nigerian Medical Association was inundated yesterday (Tuesday) evening of several cases of harassment and intimidation of doctors and other health-workers by officers and men of the Lagos State Police command to the extent that even ambulances carrying patients with emergency cases were impounded. This has become a recurrent issue.
“The Lagos State Branch of the NMA has resolved that it is presently unsafe for members to continue to provide healthcare services under the present confused arrangement.
“You are hereby advised to proceed on a sit-at-home, in your best interest, starting from 6pm today, Wednesday, 20th May, 2020 indefinitely, until otherwise advised.”
The Inspector-General of Police had on Tuesday reversed the order restricting the movement of essential workers.