By Ayodele Oni
For celebrating last Christmas and New Year in hunger, medical personnel in public service in Abia state, took a step forward to press for payment of their 24 months salaries.
Medical and para medical staff of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba (ABSUTH) on Thursday barricaded the gate leading to the Government House Umuahia.
Aside backlog of salaries, report has it that another 13 months arrears for doctors and other staff of Health Management Board are outstanding.
The protesters took off from the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia before proceeding to the Government House Gate, with placard and chanting solidarity songs.
The chairman of the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Isaiah Abali, who led the explained that the doctors in the employ of the State Government are facing a lot of hardship due to many months of unpaid wages.
Speaking earlier, NMA Secretary, Dr Daniel Ekeleme, stated that “Land lords no longer accept Abia doctors because we can’t pay house rent any more.
“Some of us can no longer pay our children ‘s school fees. Feeding has become a big challenge now, all because Abia State Government has refused to pay us.
“Abia doctors are the least paid in the country. Out of the 36 states, Abia is the only state where doctors are owed for years.
“We have begged, we have made appeals but they fell on deaf ears; now we are here so the world can hear us. Doctors are dying in Abia.
“Next time we will come with the bodies of some of our members who have died as a result of hardship. Is it a curse to be a doctor in Abia?”
For the records, along with four of his colleagues, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has been junketing Europe and other States in Nigeria for many months.