Lagos NMA directs doctors to stay at home over alleged harassment of essential workers by police/

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Lagos State chapter has directed its members to sit at home to protest the alleged harassment of essential workers by security agents in the state.

NVS had earlier reported how doctors and other essential workers were allegedly arrested by the police in Lagos on Tuesday while returning home from work citing ongoing nationwide curfew imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari between 8pm and 6am daily to combat spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

This had happened despite directive by Buhari that doctors and other essential workers were exempted from the curfew.

In a statement issued by the state NMA Chairman, Saliu Oseni, and Secretary, Ramon Moronkola, on Wednesday, the body said the indefinite stay-at-home directive to its members takes effect from 6.00 pm the same day. 

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 harassments 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.”