Reno Omokri claimed that while Peter Obi served as Governor of Anambra state, the doctors and teachers were on strike. He added that the doctors’ strike lasted 13 months.
True. Doctors and University lecturers were on strike when Peter Obi was the governor of Anambra state.
Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan and current chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) claimed in a tweet that while Peter Obi, now Labour Party’s presidential candidate served as Governor of Anambra state, doctors and teachers of the state went on strike at different times. The doctor’s strike lasted 13 months.
Omokri was urging student voters not to vote for Obi because “His stinginess will force ASUU to go in the Mother of All strikes.”
I repeat my warning to Nigeria’s 26 million registered student voters. Elect Peter Obi, and his stinginess will force ASUU to go in the Mother of All strikes. Under Obi as Governor, Anambra doctors and teachers were on strike. The doctors strike lasted 13 months!#TableShaker
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) January 17, 2023
Obi who served as the governor of Anambra between 2006 to 2014 after a lengthy legal tussle has been viewed by many especially those in the opposition to be stingy. This is evident in his “I no dey give shishi” mantra but he has dismissed this claim adding that he is more committed to how to use state money for public good if elected into office in the forthcoming presidential election in 2023.
Checks by FactCheckElections reveal that indeed, Anambra doctors were on strike for 13 months between 2011 and 2012.
In the same vein, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), South East Chapter embarked on a six-month-old strike between July 2010 to January 2011.
The doctors embarked on the strike due to the government’s failure to accept and implement the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), as prescribed by the Federal Government as the standard for all doctors in government-owned hospitals in the country. But the industrial action was called off in the interest of the patients and also due to the intervention of prominent persons in the state which led to both parties reaching an agreement that stipulated that the government would periodically review the salaries until 100 percent was achieved, starting from 50 percent.
The university lecturers on the other hand embarked on the strike due to the failure of the South Eastern Governors led by Mr. Peter Obi of Anambra State to meet their demands which includes the improvement of their working conditions, proper funding of the state universities by the provision of basic classroom and research facilities, as well as adequate remuneration for the lecturers in line with what their colleagues in the federal universities earn. After a long period of negotiation that involved leaders of thought, religious leaders, and traditional rulers, the union suspended the 6-month-old strike having reached an agreement with the state government.
Why Doctors Went On Strike – Obi
The Labour Party presidential candidate has given explanations at different forums here, here and here on why the doctors and other unions embarked on strike for a long period of time when he was serving as governor of the state.
In an interview with Nigerian YouTuber, Adeola Fayehun, Obi acknowledged that the doctors strike lasted for about 13 months but it did not affect a lot of people that were sick.
He further explained that his attempt to bring change to the health sector in Anambra state by reviving moribund health institutions in the state was one of the major reasons for the industrial dispute.
“It’s an issue I don’t want to discuss, our hospitals were not functioning, we tried to fund health facilities, it wasn’t working, there was strike in education too, we tried to fund our secondary schools and primary schools, it wasn’t working, so we decided that we have to have alternatives when I got to Anambra State, there was no single school of nursing that was accredited, no school of midwifery, no school of health technology – all these were not there… So, in doing this, I had issues with the established bodies because they saw it that I was now doing things to the private sector. For me, the result was important and that was the issues”
“During my governorship, I had strikes with teachers, doctors, different groups, but it was trying to change them from being what they used to be to what it should be. When you bring change, you will have enemies – all those who live off the old order” he said.
The claim by Reno Omokri is true. Doctors and university lecturers were on strike when Peter Obi was the governor of Anambra state. Obi has also gave reasons why the strike was embarked upon at different forums.